Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba Corporation, has signed an engineering, procurement, and construction contract with the Florida subsidiary of Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN) to build two new nuclear power plants in Florida. The Shaw Group, Inc. (NYSE:SGR) will partner with Westinghouse on the contract.
Earlier in 2008, Westinghouse signed a contract for four more nuclearplants, two for Georgia Power and two for SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG)in South Carolina. These are the first contracts for nuclear plantconstruction in the US since 1978.
The plants are still a long way from being started. The long regulatoryreviews and the inevitable public opposition have barely begun. If theplants are online within 10 years, it will be a miracle.
President-elect Obama has signaled that he supports nuclear power under the right circumstances, buthe will undoubtedly be pressured to ensure that stricter regulationsare enacted and enforced, including what to do with spent fuel. Leadinga charm offensive for nukes may prove more difficult than winning thepresidency.
January 6, 2009