Berkshire Hathaway Holds Off on Iowa Nuclear Power Plants

MidAmerican Energy Co., subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, chose to no longer build any upcoming nuclear reactors in the state of Iowa like they originally planned for you future. They chose to hold off because of regulatory hurdles.

“It is premature, given the uncertainty of carbon regulation and the extensive regulatory review for new nuclear reactor designs, to immediately pursue any additional site work on a future generation option, including a nuclear facility,” said MidAmerican in a statement.

Due to the current cheap natural gas prices, many of the utilities have decided to put their nuclear reactor plans on hold at this time. It’s much easier and costs less to build gas-fired generators. Plus, there are no current federal restrictions on carbon emissions.

There are a number of companies that chose to go ahead with the construction of five new reactors. The companies are the Tennessee Valley Authority in Tennessee, Southern Co. in Georgia and Scana Corp. in South Carolina.

The news from MidAmerican came once the company finished completing a study in regards to nuclear feasibility. They reported their results to regulators in Iowa on Monday. The state’s largest utility has been collecting one half of a percent from customers in order to study the feasibility of choosing to go forward building new reactors.

MidAmerican Energy requested of the Iowa Utilities Board to approve their plan that will let them refund $8.8 million that they collected from the customers throughout the state. They also requested to stop collecting the half percentage charge because of the assessment. This will be effective July 1, which is three months earlier than originally planned.

This refund, plus the half of a percent charge being levied because of the nuclear assessment will result in a small decrease of the bills of the Iowa customers beginning this summer, we learned according to MidAmerican.

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