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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
Mar022015

"DC Consumer Advocate Seeks Delay in Exelon-Pepco Proceedings"

Logo courtesy of Public Citizen Energy ProgramAs reported by RTO Insider, Washington, D.C.'s consumer advocate, the Office of People's Counsel (OPC), has requested a months-long delay from the D.C. Public Service Commission in the Exelon-Pepco merger proceeding, because Exelon's recent filings are a "procedural mess." The OPC was joined in its motion to the D.C. PSC by the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington.

In addition, the article reports, "the American Antitrust Institute asked the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger or impose mitigation measures."

Thursday
Feb262015

EXELON LEGISLATION, FERC COMMENTS A “DECLARATION OF WAR” ON RENEWABLES AND EFFICIENCY, GROUP ASSERTS

In a press release, Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Chicago has warned the energy future of IL is at stake, as Exelon Nuclear lobbyists have unveiled their wish list bill seeking $580 million from state legislators, at ratepayers' expense. In addition, Exelon seeks another $560 million from transmission grid operator, PJM Interconnection, also at ratepayers' expense.

NEIS has been defending IL ratepayers and residents against the state's nuclear utilities since 1981.

Wednesday
Feb112015

Entergy threatens to simply walk away from VY decommissioning after 60 years!

An aerial view of the known extent of the tritium contamination in soil and groundwater at the VY site, on the banks of the Connecticut River in southeastern Vermont.Entergy Nuclear is infamous for its arrogance. Now, reports the Associated Press, the country's second biggest nuclear utility, with one less than a dirty dozen atomic reactors in its fleet (Vermont Yankee -- VY -- was forced into permanent shutdown on Dec. 29th under intense public pressure), is threatening the State of Vermont to simply walk away from the radioactively contaminated site after 60 years, if the decommissioning is not yet completed.

The threat was made by Entergy Vice President Michael Twomey, to State of Vermont legislative committees. Under the Orwellian policy "SAFSTOR," the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allows nuclear utilities to simply sit on permanently shutdown reactors, without doing radiological clean up or facility dismantlement.

Entergy only has about $666 million in the VY decommissioning fund -- only about half what is projected to be needed. The agreement to not require Entergy to put a single penny into the decommissioning fund, from when it took over VY in 2002 till now, was approved by Gov. Howard Dean's (D-VT) administration, well over a decade ago.

Entergy's plan is to keep the $666 million invested in the stock market, so its value can grow to the needed $1.25 billion. What happens if the money is lost in another stock market crash, Entergy is not saying. More.

Friday
Feb062015

Exelon's Ginna atomic reactor in upstate NY also at risk of near-term shutdown

NRC file photo of Exelon's Ginna atomic reactor on the Lake Ontario shore of upstate NY near RochesterAs reported by the Democrat and Chronicle, Exelon Nuclear's Ginna atomic reactor -- one of the oldest in the U.S. -- is at risk of near-term shutdown. Dr. Mark Cooper of Vermont Law School, in his July 2013 report Renaissance in Reverse, identified Ginna as one of a dozen atomic reactors across the U.S. most at risk of near-term, permanent shutdown, for a variety of safety, financial, and societal reasons.

The 45-year-old Ginna reactor is located in Ontario, NY, near Rochester, on the shoreline of Lake Ontario (photo, left).

It joins five of Exelon's atomic reactors in the utility's home state of IL at risk of permanent closure due to economic uncompetitiveness. Just yesterday, Public Citizen, Maryland PIRG, and others protested at Exelon's Baltimore HQ against the utility's attempt to plunder Mid-Atlantic ratepayers to prop up its failing reactors across the country.

Exelon is also trying to stick it to IL ratepayers, but is not alone in the attempted gouging of its own customers: FirstEnergy has sought permission to overcharge Ohio ratepayers to the tune of billions, to prop up its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo on the Lake Erie shore, as well as a dirty coal plant on the Ohio River. See Beyond Nuclear's "Nuclear Costs" website section for more news on these and related issues.

Monday
Feb022015

Stop Exelon's Power Grab Regional Solidarity Event (Baltimore, MD), Feb. 5

Logo from Public Citizens' action alertPublic Citizen, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, PowerDC, and others have organized a rally in opposition to the proposed Exelon-Pepco merger, to be held in downtown Baltimore, MD at 10:30am on Thurs., Feb. 5th.

If you live in the area, please consider attending, and spread the word!

As posted at Public Citizen's action alert, here are details:

Stop Exelon’s Power Grab Regional Solidarity Event

  • What: Advocates from Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. will speak out against the proposed Exelon takeover.
  • When: Thursday, February 5 @ 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Outside Exelon’s Headquarters at 750 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore

Public Citizen asks that you RSVP if you are planning to attend the rally.