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  • Writer's pictureAIM Team

Georgia nuclear project online, but customers paying hefty bill because of CWIP



July 31, 2023 - The AP reports the first nuclear facility to be built in decades is now online in Georgia. What does this have to do with Missouri? The project was built using a process known as Construction Work In Progress (CWIP), something that was proposed in Missouri as recently as last session and opposed by Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM).


CWIP is a process used by utility companies to recover costs for a large utility infrastructure project prior to completion of the project by including the costs in rates paid by utility customers. Missouri voters banned the use of the procedure through an initiative petition in 1976. The legislature has tried in recent years to restore the use of CWIP for certain nuclear projects, but AIM has successfully stopped that effort, demanding inclusion of strong ratepayer protections.


In the 2023 Legislative Session, AIM worked with Sen. Curtis Trent to provide such protections in SB 333:

  • Limiting use of the procedure to only small modular reactor projects with a much lower price tag than a full nuclear generation facility that may be completed relatively quickly; and,

  • Allowing consumers to recover any costs paid through rates with interest if the project were never put into production.

However, another version of the concept filed by Rep. John Black in HB 225 passed the Missouri House over AIM's objection because the bill would have allowed projects larger than small modular reactor projects and would not have allowed recovery of costs by ratepayers if the projects were never put into production. AIM successfully blocked the legislation and was the only statewide business organization to oppose the House bill and support the protections included in Sen. Trent's bill.


AIM will continue to object to allowing CWIP in Missouri unless the strong consumer protections we listed above are included. We thank Sen. Curtis Trent for his leadership in advocating for those protections while allowing development of small modular reactors as a potential energy generation source in Missouri.


Now that you have the background, click here to read the AP story on Georgia customers finally enjoying power from a new nuclear plant that was built using CWIP. Georgia ratepayers have been, and will be, paying for massive cost overruns and delays. The original project was supposed to cost $14 billion but the final price tag is around $35 billion. The original project was estimated to take seven years, but took 14 years.

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