We Are in a Heap of Trouble

Seabrook may be the first nuclear plant to bankrupt a utility

Like a giant vessel left ashore by the tide, the Seabrook nuclear power plant sits forlornly on the marshy New Hampshire coastline. The reactor has produced not a single kilowatt of electricity -- nor a penny of income -- since ground was broken for the project in 1976. Result: Seabrook is generating a financial disaster for its principal owner, Public Service of New Hampshire, an otherwise healthy electric utility that has poured $2.1 billion into the plant. Strapped for cash, Public Service last week did something that utilities virtually never do: it defaulted. The company deliberately missed a $37.5 million semiannual...

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