Monday, April 28, 2014

Nuclear Industry Gains Carbon-Focused Allies in Push to Save Reactors

The troubled San Onofre nuclear plant in California is in the initial stages of preparation to be decommissioned after being closed in 2013.  It was one of several reactors across the country that are planned to close. (Credit: Gregory Bull/Associated Press) Click to enlarge.
Environmentalists and the nuclear industry are beginning a push to preserve old nuclear reactors whose economic viability is threatened by cheap natural gas and rising production of wind energy. They argue that while natural gas and wind are helpful as sources of electricity with little or no production of greenhouse gases, national climate goals will be unreachable if zero-carbon nuclear reactors are phased out.

Total System levelized costs for plants entering service in 2018. (Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration)

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, an independent nonprofit group based in Washington that was formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, released on Monday a research paper that charts the decline of the industry.

“The loss of nuclear plants from the electricity grid would likely lead to millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere each year,” because the substitute would be fossil fuels, the paper concludes.  “This is a prospect the global climate cannot afford.”

Nuclear Industry Gains Carbon-Focused Allies in Push to Save Reactors

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