So, How Much is $14 billion?

August 8, 2017

Oran P. Smith, Ph.D

Senior Fellow

Statewide news sources are reporting that the cost of starting and then shutting down the SCANA/Santee Cooper nuclear reactor project in Fairfield County will be right at $14 billion.

Legendary Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen (R-IL) was famous for saying “a billion here and a billion there and soon it adds up to real money.”

So, how to embrace the meaning of Fourteen Billion Dollars?

Here are some examples to assist in grasping the reality:

  • Spending: If you had 14 billion dollars, you could buy 466,667 cars at $30,000/each or 70,000 houses at $200,000/each.
  • Travel: If you were to travel 14 billion miles, you could fly around the world 562,226 times or take a round trip to the moon 29,301 times.
  • Savings: If you could save $100,000/year, it would take you 140,000 years to save 14 billion dollars. If you could save $10,000 every single day, then it would only take you 3,836 years to save 14 billion.
  • Giving: With 14 billion dollars, you could afford to give every man, woman, and child in Canada $388.89.

An easier number is the percentage of the $14 billion that will be on the back of the ratepayers (power customers).

That number would be… in round numbers… about…100%.


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