Whoops Woes

A $2.25 billion default looms

The U.S. nuclear power industry has suffered many setbacks, one of the worst being the accident at Three Mile Island. But none is potentially more costly than the financial tragedy unfolding in Washington State. Next week the Washington Public Power Supply System is expected to fail to make a $15.6 million monthly debt-service payment to Chemical Bank on bonds worth $2.25 billion. The securities were issued starting in 1976 to pay for two nuclear power plants that have already been scrapped. A default would likely endanger completion of three other unfinished WPPSS plants on which $6.1 billion...

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