Progress Energy’s disastrous do-it-yourself upgrade to the Crystal River nuclear plant was such a risky idea that the company’s own internal report warned against it.
The company’s lack of expertise and experience “outweigh strengths and opportunities,” the report said. “Those weaknesses cannot be changed to strengths in sufficient time to plan and implement” the project.
The report’s conclusion: Although the opportunity to save money self-managing the replacement of steam generators inside the nuclear containment building “is huge, the risk is just as large.”
Progress subsequently took steps to address the risks and decided to self-manage the project anyway. But its plan failed. The concrete containment building cracked. Two more major cracks followed.
Progress’ attempt to save $28 million will end up costing someone almost 100 times that.
The big question now is, who?
Progress wants its customers to pay at least $670 million of a $2.5 billion repair bill.