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Pete has for years posted so many of James Conca's pro-nuclear power Forbes articles, but he did not post this one which blames the contractors for the demise of Westinghouse/Toshiba and the nuclear plants under construction in the US.

Mar 31, 2017
Westinghouse Bankruptcy Shakes The Nuclear World

In James Conca's article, he claims it all started with Westinghouse hiring Shaw to be the prime contractor and construction manager of two complex projects in Georgia and South Carolina. Shaw has never built a nuclear plants, but Shaw claimed they had Stone and Webster nuclear expertise (from 35 years ago).

Obviously Shaw wasn't up to the task, with regulators calling it out for shoddy work; amid significant cost overruns and serious delays, the projects fell way behind schedule. Shaw decided to cut and run, selling Shaw Group to Chicago Bridge & Iron Company for an overpriced $3.3 billion, and unloading all liabilities.

CB&I is a much larger engineering firm that was eager to get in on what seemed at the time like a nuclear renaissance. However, CB&I quickly thought better of it after discovering the true depths of the problems on the projects, and sold Shaw to Toshiba for only $229 million, including relieving CB&I from liability on the plants. Toshiba later accused CB&I of inflating the value of Shaw’s assets by $2.2 billion. Renegotiation of the deal is stuck in court, something that is likely to drag this out even further.

Hindsight is 20-20, but where was the 'nuclear expert' James Conca back in 2008 when Westinghouse hired Shaw or when Shaw was having all that trouble with shoddy construction work? Where was he when Shaw bailed out and sold the contract to CB&I? In fact, James Conca was probably praising Westinghouse, Shaw and CB&I on their fine work on these projects.

Where were the nuclear industry experts at NEI, ANS, Rod Adams and many other nuclear experts when Westinghouse, Shaw and CB&I were having all the shoddy work problems, cost problems and schedule delays? They all turned a blind eye to the mess and never said a bad word. They kept saying it was just minor learning curve issues. They kept praising the progress on the project.

The utilities: Southern Company, Georgia Power and SCANA all keep quite and tried to hide the mess. They kept saying the rate-payers will save money someday and everything is going ahead with no major problems. They kept all the cost and schedule issue under tight wraps. It was difficult to get the truth about the projects. And now we see that they were telling lies to the regulators to kept the ratepayers and news media in the dark.

Our self proclaimed nuclear expert waterfell (aka Pete) kept saying for the last 5 years that Westinghouse, Shaw and CB&I were just having some minor learning curve problems. Pete kept parroting the utilities. Pete turned a blind eye to the facts - denying shoddy work, incompetence and fraud. Pete kept saying the rate-payers will save money someday and these problems are normal learning curve issues.

I have been saying for the last 5 years that Shaw and CB&I are incompetent and fraudulent at building nuclear power plants. IMHO Westinghouse and Toshiba were a buffoons to undertake a lump sum bid for these projects and to put the execution of the contracts into the hands of the incompetent Shaw and later CB&I

Southern Company, Georgia Power and SCANA were buffoons for agreeing on neophytes to design and build nuclear power plants for them.

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