Exelon wants ratepayers to pay more for all Illinois reactors

Exelon wants its ratepayers to bail out not only its uneconomic Byron reactors, but all of its 11 reactors in Illinois.

Exelon wants its ratepayers to bail out not only its uneconomic Byron reactors, but all of its 11 reactors in Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune this afternoon published an article indicating that the nation’s largest nuclear power utility, Exelon, is seeking to have its Illinois ratepayers pay more for all of its 11 reactors in the state, not just the six the company has identified as losing money.

That’s right: Exelon isn’t content to just try to right its ship, it wants to bilk Illinois ratepayers out of every penny it possibly can.

At least some in the Illinois legislature appear to be willing to go along. According to the article, Exelon itself announced that “Illinois lawmakers are currently drafting legislation that would help the state adhere to new federal rules aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions.” Continue reading

Yep, wind is better than nukes/CCS for climate

Global wind energy capacity has been growing and continues to grow at a rapid rate.

Global wind energy capacity has been growing and continues to grow at a rapid rate…..

It’s not like this will come as startling news to most readers–most of us already have a strong sense that renewables are far better than either nuclear power or carbon capture/storage (CCS) at addressing our climate crisis.

After all, that’s the main message the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent is taking to the People’s Climate March in New York City September 21.

But it’s nice to see others take the same position, especially when bolstered with facts. That’s what Mike Barnard did yesterday in CleanTechnica.com with his article Wind Energy Beats Nuclear & Carbon Capture For Global Warming Mitigation. Continue reading

Nuclear reactors and childhood leukemia: the risk exists.

Part of the Sellafield nuclear complex in the U.K. Photo from Greenpeace UK.

Part of the massive Sellafield nuclear complex in the U.K. Photo from Greenpeace UK.

The issue of whether children living near nuclear reactors are more susceptible to childhood leukemia has long been a controversial issue, especially in Europe, where numerous studies have found significantly increased risk for leukemia among children living near reactors.

In 1990, a particularly noted report (the Gardner report) found the risk of leukemia among children near the U.K.’s Sellafield facility to be seven times higher than for children living away from nuclear facilities.

Here in the U.S., the controversy has been far less conspicuous, despite a few similar studies around selected reactors, perhaps because the nuclear industry has been more successful at quashing such studies as soon as they appear.  Continue reading

Exelon supporting solar power in Massachusetts? Um, nope.

Exelon's Clinton reactor in Illinois. Decidedly not a solar plant.

Exelon’s Clinton reactor in Illinois. Decidedly not a solar plant.

America’s largest nuclear utility, Exelon, says it is supporting an elimination of the net metering cap in Massachusetts. That position would seem to imply support for rooftop solar power in the state, a position seemingly at odds with Exelon’s ownership of 2,000 Megawatts of natural gas generation in Massachusetts it acquired when it bought Constellation Energy last year.

This is, after all, the same Exelon that said in April, “This year, it’s the wind industry. Next year, it will be the solar industry,” said Joseph Dominguez, Exelon’s Sr. VP of Policy and Regulatory Affairs. “We’re just handling these subsidies piecemeal instead of looking at the problem more holistically.”

And no, Dominguez wasn’t talking about Exelon supporting wind this year, and solar next. He was talking about Exelon’s efforts to kill all government–federal and state–support for renewable energy.  Continue reading

Ecodefense sues Russian government over “foreign agent” label

On July 8, we posted that the Russian anti-nuclear group Ecodefense was being labeled a “foreign agent” by Russian authorities–a designation that would cripple the organization’s activities.

The Russian government made the designation official on Monday of this week–even before a court hearing on the issue, already scheduled to take place on August 25. A report from the Norwegian group Bellona on the designation–and that of four prominent Russian human rights organizations–is here.

Today, Ecodefense filed its own lawsuit against the Russian Ministry of Justice’s designation of the group as a foreign agent. Continue reading for Ecodefense’s statement about this lawsuit. Continue reading

Obama appoints two to NRC; NEI not happy. Magwood says staying as long as possible.

Stephen Burns

Stephen Burns

President Obama Tuesday appointed two new Commissioners to the NRC. They will replace departed Commissioner George Apostalakis and outgoing and increasingly controversial Commissioner William Magwood.

Already the Nuclear Energy Institute and some GOP congressmembers are raising concerns about both of them, although there have not yet been any outright calls for their confirmation defeat in the Senate. Both need to be confirmed by the Senate Environment Committee, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Unless some new information turns up about one or both of them, confirmation by the Committee seems likely. However, the nominations could run into trouble on the Senate floor if Republicans decide to mount a filibuster against them–as they have done against many Obama nominees to various positions.  Continue reading

NYT’s bias is showing on Indian Point

Indian Point will remain a center of controversy as long as it operates. The question is: how long will that be?

Indian Point will remain a center of controversy as long as it operates. The question is: how long will that be?

Today, the New York Times ran an article by longtime nuclear power reporter Matthew Wald titled Hearings on Water Permits for Indian Point.

NIRS’ Executive Director Tim Judson found a lot to critique in this article, which bends over backwards to less-than subtly support Entergy’s position on Indian Point. The entire article, with Tim’s comments in brackets, italicized in green, is posted below. Further down, you’ll find a brief report on the substance of the issues raised at the hearing.

Matt, your bias is showing…  Continue reading