Going Down

WPPSS heads toward default

With its hard-luck history, the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) has richly earned the unhappy nickname of Whoops. Construction on three of the five units in the state system's massive nuclear-power project has either been postponed or canceled, and a fourth unit is endangered. Last week things got even worse. The Washington State Supreme Court unexpectedly ruled that nearly 30 public utilities did not have to pay their share of the $2.25 billion owed WPPSS for building costs. The decision pushed the system a step closer to the ultimate whoops!—the largest municipal default in history.

Donald Mazur,...

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