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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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Monday
Jun132016

Bailout alert: PSEG quietly lobbying New Jersey for handouts to keep operating 2 nuclear plants in the state

As reported by NJ Spotlight, regarding the Salem Unit 1 and 2 atomic reactors in New Jersey near Wilmington, Delaware:

Public Service Enterprise Group officials have quietly begun lobbying administration and legislative officials about securing new financial incentives for the units -- given their ability produce power without contributing any emissions to global climate change. (emphasis added)

(That last claim is, of course, most debatable!)

Exelon Nuclear is minority owner of the Salem 1 & 2 atomic reactors. Exelon lobbyists have similarly demanded bailouts in IL, PA, and NY, in order to prop up its age-degraded, economically non-competitive atomic reactors.

(Thanks to Scott Stapf of the Hastings Group for the Tweet alerting us to this news article.)

Friday
Jun102016

Did Entergy just signal investors it's preparing to close Indian Point in NY and Palisades in MI?!

Tim Judson, Executive Director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, sent the following note out re: an E&E article:

Entergy is sending signals to the investment community that it may be preparing to phase out its merchant nuclear business. When pressed on what that really means – particularly for Indian Point [in New York] – they muttered the same, increasingly hollow, talking points about relicensing, reliability, emissions, etc. But the suggestion from the analysts in the audience that negotiating a deal to close Indian Point should be on the table. That would imply closing Palisades [in Michigan], too.

Thursday
Jun092016

VT's "Nuclear Free Future" discusses nuclear lobbyists' money grabs to prop up old reactors with Beyond Nuclear

Host Margaret Harrington of "Nuclear Free Future" on Channel 17/Town Meeting Television (CCTV Center for Media & Democracy of Burlington, Vermont) talks with Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear about how President Obama visited Hiroshima with the nuclear football, while his administration is going along with a trillion dollar nuclear weapons renovation plan over the next 30 years. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Senate seek parking lot dumps for high level nuclear waste, which would launch large numbers of Mobile Chernobyls. Grassroots environmentalists and consumer advocates from IL to OH, DC to NY continue to resist numerous multi-billion dollar ratepayer bailouts for old reactors sought by nuclear lobbyists.

Watch the 34-minute interview online.

The interview was filmed on June 3rd, but began airing on June 9, 2016.

Tuesday
Jun072016

Exelon lobbyists also seeking ratepayer bailouts to prop up TMI 1 reactor in PA

After announcing closure dates for three non-competitive atomic reactors in IL last week (Clinton by June 1, 2017; Quad Cities 1 & 2 by June 1, 2018), economic woes at its Byron nuclear plant in IL and Three Mile Island Unit 1 atomic reactor in PA are making headlines this week, as in PowerMag.

As reported by Lancaster Online, Exelon's lobbyists have threatened PA legislators with the closure of TMI, perhaps by mid-2018, unless they approve a massive ratepayer bailout.

But as reported by UtilityDIVE, such state efforts to prop up failing atomic reactors are coming too late, especially in the face of failure by nuclear power plants to clear PJM capacity market auctions.

In an interview with E&E TV held the same day as a recent emergency "save the nukes" meeting hastily convened at the U.S. Department of Energy, the CEO and President of the Nuclear Energy Institure, Marvin Fertel, admitted that 10-20 atomic reactors across the country are at risk of near-term closure.

Fertel did not list them by name, but Dr. Mark Cooper did, three years ago. An energy economist at Vermont Law School, Cooper -- way back in July, 2013 -- in a report entitled Renaissance in Reverse, accurately predicted the 2014 closure of Vermont Yankee, and the recently announced closures of: Fort Calhoun, NE (by Oct. 2016); FitzPatrick, NY (by Jan. 2017); Pilgrim, MA (by 2019); and now Clinton and Quad Cities in IL, as mentioned above.

Sunday
Jun052016

NEIS update on Exelon reactor closures: "They're back!" Exelon's bad faith bluff and bluster requires ongoing vigilance

Dave Kraft, Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service of Chicago, has just sent out this update:

NEIS EVENTS UPDATES"They're back!"

"GAME ON!" WITH EXELON, ONCE AGAIN: In reality it was probably never "game off."  Although the Legislature did not pass the Exelon bailout bill before the Spring session ended, and although Exelon claims it is now on track to close the two Quad Cities and Clinton-1 reactors as a result, the reality is far different.  Intercepted communications to Exelon plant workers at the reactors show Exelon urging their 1,500 at-risk employees to continue calling the Governor and legislators, urging them to bail out the reactors.  Exelon also announced (for the 4th time, no less) that will they really, really intend to close these reactors, but they also said that a "window" still exists through mid-September before they really have to make a final decision on Clinton-1.  And worse, Mr. I'm a Businessman, anti-union Governor Rauner has declared that we really need to keep these troubled, money-losing reactors open, even with a bailout (his term, not ours)!
We will be meeting this week internally and with allies to develop a summer strategy moving forward on the Exelon bailout, which we will announce to you soon.  There will be plenty of "action" opportunities for you to be a part of.  In the meantime, we ask you to continue the "same old, same old", but with a slight variation:

  1. keep the calls, postcards and letters going in to your legislators, and now, to the Governor;
  2. message is the same, but begin your contact by explicitly stating"This is the one vote I will remember come November!  So,..."
  3. Say NO to Exelon’s corporate welfare bailout! 

    • ·      NO bailouts for Exelon’s aging, money losing reactors
    • ·      Fix the Renewable Portfolio Standard, and expand renewable energy and energy efficiency;
    • ·      Enact a “just transitions” program for reactor communities and displaced workers;  and support renewable energy jobs, and "environmental justice" programs

     

  4. Here is the contact information for your legislators:

  • ·      Governor Bruce Rauner

     (312) 814-2121

     Leave a comment on his webpage:

  • ·      House Speaker Michael Madigan

     (217) 782-5350

  • ·    Senate Pres. John Cullerton 

     (773) 883-0770