Minnesota Nuke Costs $402 Million in Overruns

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The Star Tribune (can’t give you the link because they have anti-link mojo) reports that Xcel Energy mismanaged an upgrade to the nuke plant in Monticello (this is one of two plants in the state) that cost 402 extra million dollars for an upgrade. This was part of the “life extention” upgrade approved a few years ago to allow the aging plant to continue operation beyond the originally planned number of years. The plant has had an impressive safety record; last time I checked it was actually number one in the country, having only one death (not nuclear related) and a couple of valve failures with moderate or no release of radioactive substance.

The project with the cost overrun increased power output by over 10%, in theory, though that actual output has not happened yet.

The state has investigated the overruns, the investigation overseen bvy a judge, who concluded that Xcel “mishandled the project from the beginning, failing to recognize the complexity of the upgrade and the resulting higher costs.”

It is expected that rate payers will foot the bill, or some of it, but this is yet to be decided.

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