ORIGINAL REPORTING: With Nuclear Out, New Energy And Natural Gas Will Be The U.S. Power Mix
If nuclear is not in the future US energy mix, what will replace it? The U.S. had only two nuclear plants being built; now one is out and the other is uncertain
Herman K. Trabish, Aug. 29, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: With the failure of the White House to get federal subsidies for coal and nuclear from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, it appears nuclear has returned to the back burner. For now.
The decision to not go forward with the V.C. Summer nuclear plant because of cost overruns and construction delays shows the 1960s dream of “too cheap to meter” nuclear-generated electricity is more like a financial nightmare today. A report from Mark Cooper, senior research fellow at the Vermont Law School Energy and Environment Institute, was part of the proceeding that led to the decision by SCANA Corp and Santee Cooper in South Carolina to stop work on the Summer facility. He found the capital cost of renewables is between 12% and 25% of what Summer was costing.
The Summer decision bolstered the economic argument against nuclear. Newer to the debate is the controversial question of nuclear’s role in the climate fight. The MIT Energy Institute’s Jesse Jenkins, co-author of a recent review of research on deep decarbonization in the power sector, said nuclear is too important a source of emissions-free electricity to abandon. Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) Executive Director V. John White said neither national policy nor ideology should determine nuclear’s future because it is a regional question. But, because the aging U.S. nuclear fleet is an increasing safety risk, replacing them should be a plant by plant decision based on local economics, public safety and available resources… click here for more