The nuclear industry has been heavily subsidized throughout its 50+-year history in the U.S. It continues to seek the lion's share of federal funding since it cannot otherwise afford to expand.



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). Exelon is trying to gouge Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) ratepayers to prop up its failing Ginna reactor.

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.


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.


Nuclear DOESN'T Matter!

Carol Browner, a paid spokesman for industry PR front group "Nuclear Matters," is but the latest in a long line of nuclear power snake oil salesman, seeking to gouge ratepayers and taxpayers"Nuclear Matters," a high-priced front group featuring paid, pro-nuclear spokespeople -- former members of congress and administration agency heads -- was created by Exelon Nuclear and its PR machine last year. It has since been joined by other nuclear utilities.

"Nuclear Matters" spokespeople, such as former Clinton administration EPA administrator, and Obama administration White House "climate czar," Carol Browner, are in Chicago today, and plan to be at FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor in Carroll Township, Ohio (east of Toledo, on the Lake Erie shore) on Feb. 5th.

"Nuclear Matters" is trying desperately to prop up dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive atomic reactors, through massive ratepayer bailouts, in both Illinois and Ohio. (And check out Grist's coverage of Exelon's attempt to take over Pepco, and gouge ratepayers in D.C., MD, and beyond in the Mid-Atlantic region!) In fact, in Chicago, they were joined by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the industry's lobbying and PR HQ in Washington, D.C. Exelon, the single largest nuclear utility in the U.S., also dominates NEI -- both Exelon's and NEI's CEO is one and the same person: Christopher Crane.

For her own part, one of Browner's claims to infamy as EPA administrator was to propose Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump regulations that were so weak, that the incoming George W. Bush EPA head, Christie Todd-Whitman, simply adopted them verbatim. (Todd-Whitman is herself a paid spokesman for NEI front group CASE Energy.) An environmental coalition, in alliance with the targeted State of Nevada, later successfully challenged EPA's illegal attempt to cut off regulations at Yucca after only 10,000 years: ordered by the courts to rewrite the regulations, EPA several years later acknowledged high-level radioactive waste is hazardous for a million years.

See entries below about the grassroots environmental, consumer protection, and public interest push back against this attempted ratepayer robbery by Exelon, FirstEnergy, "Nuclear Matters," and NEI.

Nuclear power was infamously touted as "too cheap to meter" in the early 1950s by an earlier snake oil salesman, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss. Scott Saleska and Arjun Makhijani of IEER's 1999 book The Nuclear Power Deception documented that the entire nuclear establishment, including Strauss, already knew by that time that nuclear power would be too expensive to matter -- until the massive subsidies gouged from taxpayers and ratepayers began. Now "Nuclear Matters" is back for more!


Growing coalition opposes multi-billion dollar ratepayer bailout for FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor

NRC file photo of Davis-Besse on the Lake Erie shoreline east of ToledoAs reported by Tom Henry of The Toledo Blade, the Jan. 15 Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) hearing in Toledo revealed a growing coalition of environmental, public interest, and consumer protection groups opposing a $3.2 billion (or larger) ratepayer bailout sought by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) to prop up its dirty, dangerous and uncompetitive Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shoreline, as well as its Sammis coal burner on the Ohio River in southeast OH. Policy Matters Ohio, Ohio Consumers Counsel (a state agency), and American Association of Retired Persons joined with groups like Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, Green Party of Ohio, and others, which have long resisted Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension.

Beyond Nuclear testified at the Toledo hearing, as well as the Akron hearing on Jan. 12. Public Citizen testified at the Jan. 20 hearing in Cleveland, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Beyond Nuclear has also submitted all of its written submissions against the Davis-Besse license extension to PUCO's electronic docket. The coalition first intervened on Dec. 27, 2010. Contentions include renewable energy and energy storage alternatives, significant underestimates of severe accident costs, as well as severe and worsening cracking, and rebar degradation, in Davis-Besse's concrete containment Shield Building. Beyond Nuclear also submitted coalition (including Sierra Club) filings against Davis-Besse's risky, experimental steam generator replacement project; Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, served as the coalition's expert witness. Terry Lodge of Toledo serves as legal counsel in both interventions.

PUCO's administrative trial begins on Jan. 28 in Columbus, and will last for several days.


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


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.


  • 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!).


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


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.