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Nuclear Costs

Estimates for new reactor construction costs continue to sky-rocket. Conservative estimates range between $6 and $12 billion per reactor but Standard & Poor's predicts a continued rise. The nuclear power industry is lobbying for heavy federal subsidization including unlimited loan guarantees but the Congressional Budget Office predicts the risk of default will be well over 50 percent, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear opposes taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear energy industry.

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Tuesday
Jan272015

NEIS media advisory: "Stop the Nuclear Bailout!" Mock Exelon "Fun(d)-Raiser"

MEDIA ADVISORY

For immediate use --  Monday,  26 January, 2015

Contact:  Dave Kraft, Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service, (773)342-7650 (o); (630)506-2864 (c)

WHAT:  “Stop the Nuclear Bailout!” Mock Exelon “Fun(d)-Raiser”

WHEN:   Tuesday, January 27, 2015;  11:30 to 12:15.

LOCATION AND DETAILS:

  • 111 W. Grand Ave., (Grand and Clark St., SW corner), Chicago, Illinois.
  • Fliers against the Exelon billion-dollar nuclear bailout will be passed out to attendees of the City Club of Chicago luncheon, “Illinois’ Energy Future: A Policy Discussion,” to be held at Maggiano’s Restaurant.
  • Signs, placards and banners will be displayed by “nuclear workers” in radiation suits, taking up a (faux-)collection in behalf of the impoverished, money-losing Exelon Corporation reactors.  Minimum “contributions” of $100,000 will be requested of those pro-nuclear people attending the luncheon.  Cash, checks, Kruegerrands and bitcoin “accepted”  (sorry – no credit cards!).

 WHO: 

  • Speakers from Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), concerned citizens

BACKGROUND:

The City Club of Chicago is sponsoring a luncheon under the innocent-sounding heading of, “Illinois’ Energy Future: A Policy Discussion.”  However, two of the main speakers are spokespeople for  the Exelon-funded “Nuclear Matters” pro-nuclear front group, and a third a member of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the trade and lobbying association for the U.S.  nuclear power industry, whose current head is none other than Philip Crane – CEO of Exelon Corporation.  This heavily biased panel will be speaking to City Club members at a time when Exelon is engaged in attempting to win Illinois ratepayer-funded bailouts for its five money-losing reactors in Illinois from the Illinois Legislature and FERC.

NEIS is staging a “faux-fun(d)raiser” in Exelon’s behalf, to reduce the amount of money they will need to legally extort from Illinois ratepayers – and to send a message to the Governor, the Legislature and public about how absurd and full of audacity Exelon’s undeserved demands are. 

Spokespeople will be available to answer questions during the event.

Friday
Jan232015

"Big, nuke-heavy utility looking for new ratepayers to fleece"

ORGANIZE!As reported by David Roberts at Grist, Exelon Nuclear proposed takeover of Pepco represents a "Big, nuke-heavy utility looking for new ratepayers to fleece." It is part and parcel of Exelon's desperate bid to keep its dirty, dangerous, uncompetitive, aging nuclear power reactor fleet afloat. But anti-nuclear and environmental groups, the public interest movement, businesses, and consumer and ratepayer advocates are fighting back.

Wednesday
Jan212015

"District should reject Exelon-Pepco merger, energy think tank says in report"

As reported by the Washington Post, the Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has warned the Washington, D.C. Public Utility Commission against approving the Exelon Nuclear/Pepco merger, "in part because Exelon’s business model relies too heavily on an aging group of nuclear power plants."

In a bid to prop up its dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive fleet of atomic reactors, Exelon would gouge Mid-Atlantic ratepayers on their electricity bills. At the same time, it would likely lobby to undermine progressive renewable power and energy efficiency strides already made in such places as Maryland and D.C.

Dcist has also reported on this story.

Wednesday
Jan212015

"Exelon's Proposed Acquisition of Pepco: Corporate Strategy at Ratepayer Expense"

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has released a new report, Exelon's Proposed Acquisition of Pepco: Corporate Strategy at Ratepayer Expense.

Here’s an overview, and here's a snapshot:

  • The deal, if it goes through, would expose customers to rate increases aimed at supporting Exelon’s struggling business model;
  • it would undermine the District of Columbia’s renewable-energy initiatives;
  • and it would expose ratepayers to long-term risks that are significantly larger than the short-term protections and public benefits claimed by Exelon.

Exelon's "struggling business model"? Dirty, dangerous, expensive, age-degrading, and ever less competitive nuclear power plants, most of which are nearly a thousand miles away from Pepco's service area in D.C. and Maryland!

The full report is posted here.

Saturday
Jan102015

Davis-Besse: Economic powerhouse, or house of cards?

"Nuclear power burning money" image, created by Gene Case of Avenging Angels, was featured on the cover of The Nation magazine. Used with permission of the artist.As reported by FierceEnergy, First Energy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) commissioned the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI, of which it is a leading member utility) to publish a report on the economic benefits brought by the problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor to the Ohio economy.

Apparently, unlike in Illinois, where Exelon pressured th state legislature to order state agencies to write the report, FENOC had to turn to its own trade association and lobbying arm to do it. So much for even the pretense of objectivity. (But even the IL state agency reports showed the sky would not fall if Exelon's five reactors closed!)

Here is what Tim Judson, Executive Director of NIRS, had to say about the FENOC/NEI report:

"FirstEnergy and NEI are out with their own Exelon-like report claiming that Davis-Besse is indispensable. Might be good to cite to the Illinois agencies’ report yesterday saying Exelon and NEI basically exaggerated their doomsday predictions. The fact that Davis-Besse is only like 5% of the state’s generation capacity ought to make this whole thing laughable – especially given the untapped renewable energy and efficiency potential after the state suspended them last year – but the [FierceEnergy] article below also leaves out the piece that FirstEnergy is demanding at least a $182 million/year subsidy to keep [Davis-Besse] and its coal plants online.

That is actually based on the average contract price for all four plants FirstEnergy is trying to include in the contract. In reality, [Davis-Besse's] operating costs are higher than the coal plants – especially considering [FirstEnergy] is likely including the cost of replacing the steam generators (and, who knows, the shield [building] wall?). So the portion that is Davis-Besse costs are probably at least at the $71/MWh level Exelon is likely seeking for Ginna in New York, and maybe higher. But at that level, the ratepayer subsidy for Davis-Besse would be more in the $225 million/year range. Again, that would be a total cost above the market price of electricity."