Nuclear project is foolish

We just heard the cost estimate for those new nuclear plants: $14.5 billion. I think that means more like $21 billion in our so-called “real” world.

How much is $21 billion? That’s what Apple was worth a few short years ago. Now it’s worth $450 billion.

Think about it: $21 billion for one power plant in northeast Georgia? How could the investors ever recoup that? It won’t even come online – that is, begin to make money back for those investors – until 2016 at the earliest.

We’d get 2,000 permanent jobs for all that money, we’re told. Those jobs would cost us all only $10 million plus $500,000 per job. Obviously, nobody who works there will be getting paid even $500,000, let alone that $10 million. Meanwhile, this project is being sold to us as a terrific job-creator. Insert your favorite barnyard epithet here.

I’d prefer that Southern Co. just give every Georgian $2,100 right now. In the end, it comes to the same cost. But my plan has this additional advantage: It would actually work to create new jobs in our area.

Or try this on for size: Let’s pay Apple to relocate right here.

From Apple’s annual report; “As of Sept. 29, 2007, the Company had approximately 21,600 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 2,100 temporary equivalent employees and contractors.” Remember, that’s from back when Apple was worth about $21 billion.

Newt Gingrich was widely criticized for his $55 billion plan to put a colony on the moon. This monstrosity is comparable to that fiasco. Besides, it’s not as though Georgia doesn’t have a huge coastline, suitable for both wind and tidal power.

A plant we don’t really need? For $21 billion dollars? Plus, operating expenses lasting 100,000 years? Brilliant. Positively brilliant. Who thought this one up?

In the end, all I can say is: Good luck, Southern Co. Just remember: It’s not allowed to charge its customers for building costs on this fiasco until it actually starts to generate power. That’s the law!

Sandy Untermyer

Appling

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