The Waste Control Specialists radioactive waste dump in Andrews County, Texas. WCS wants to triple the site’s capacity and slash its liability at the same time.
It’s been a while since we caught up on the news, so let’s jump right in….
EPA chief Gina McCarthy has in essence admitted that our analysis of the EPA’s proposed carbon rules is correct: they are intended to boost the nuclear power industry, and are especially an effort to protect those uneconomic reactors–mostly owned by Exelon–that would close without more subsidies. However, McCarthy also demonstrated that she doesn’t know much about nuclear power or the reactors she’s trying to keep open: “There are a handful of nuclear facilities that because they are having trouble remaining competitive, they haven’t yet looked at re-licensing (to extend their operating lives). We were simply highlighting that fact,” McCarthy said at a round-table discussion with business leaders in Chicago. In fact, of the dozen or so reactors that have been publicly cited as in danger of closing because they’re losing money, only Exelon’s Clinton reactor has yet to receive a license extension. Perhaps that lack of knowledge at the top levels of the EPA is the reason the proposed rule is so inartfully worded.
SCANA has applied for its seventh rate increase for construction of its two new Summer reactors. As you can see from this photo taken May 22, 2014, they’re a long way from being finished.
The EPA’s proposed new carbon rules have dominated the news this week, but there has been more happening–especially on the clean energy front. So let’s get right into this week’s Nuclear Newsreel…
Except that the proposed rules’ effect on nuclear power continues to be an issue and two new articles discuss how these rules, if finalized as they are currently written, would benefit the nuclear industry. Continue reading
Can EPA’s new carbon rules save Exelon’s uneconomic Clinton reactor?
Doh! We goofed! More specifically, I goofed. In an Alert NIRS sent out yesterday on EPA’s new carbon rules and other nukes/climate issues, I wrote: “As worded, it seems that EPA would encourage ratepayer (that’s you and I!) subsidies of 6 cents per kilowatt/hour of generation to support six percent of a state’s existing nuclear generating capacity. That’s a strange formulation and is based on the notion that about six percent of the nation’s nuclear capacity is uneconomic and thus subject to early shutdown. That subsidy by itself is higher than the cost of most new wind power, and even solar power in many locations.” Continue reading