Tag Archives: New York

New York Just Proved Why Bailing Out Nuclear Power Is a Bad Idea

billiondollars

New York approved a $7.6-$10 billion subsidy to prop up uncompetitive nuclear power plants–twice as much money as it will take for the state to achieve a goal to generate 50% of its electricity with renewables by 2030.

Yesterday, New York became the first state to adopt a policy to subsidize aging, uncompetitive nuclear reactors. The state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utility companies, passed a Clean Energy Standard that combines a 50% renewable energy standard by 2030 with massive subsidies to prop up uneconomical reactors. (You can download the whole PSC order here.)

Prepare yourself for loud celebrations from the nuclear industry, heaping praise on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and calling for other states to emulate the Empire State with lucrative incentives to insulate the nuclear industry from competition and to postpone closures of uneconomical reactors.

We hate to throw water on the parade, but the move actually proves what a bad idea it is to provide subsidies like this to prop up nuclear power. Let’s jump to the punch line, then we can fill in the blanks: New York just committed to spending twice as much money propping up old nuclear reactors than on new renewable energy, to get 2-3 times less energy from nuclear as renewables in the end.

Spend more, get less electricity, get more carbon emissions–and get a lot of radioactive waste. Continue reading

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New York’s Nuclear Fork in the Road: Subsidizing Old Reactors Is a Dead End

New York is striving to implement one of the most aggressive renewable energy strategies in the nation. Yet at the same time, Gov. Cuomo wants to bail out the upstate and uneconomic FitzPatrick and Ginna reactors--which would only slow the deployment of renewables and would cost NY ratepayers billions.

New York is striving to implement one of the most aggressive renewable energy strategies in the nation. Yet at the same time, Gov. Cuomo wants to bail out the upstate and uneconomic FitzPatrick and Ginna reactors–which would only slow the deployment of renewables and would cost NY ratepayers billions.

Last week, we let you know about New York’s new proposal to subsidize most of the state’s existing nuclear reactors. And we promised you a more in-depth piece after we had a chance to digest the idea. So here you have it: It’s a really bad idea. Continue reading

Governor Cuomo’s schizophrenic nuclear policies

NY Governor Cuomo thinks Indian Point is too dangerous to operate. He's right. But why are upstate reactors any different?

NY Governor Cuomo thinks Indian Point is too dangerous to operate. He’s right. But why are upstate reactors any different?

In mid-1986, New York Governor Mario Cuomo was asked about the future of nuclear power. The future of nuclear power, he replied, “is Chernobyl.” He understood that nuclear power is dangerous, and he understood that it could never become safe enough to use. He made good on that statement too: he decided to prevent the Shoreham reactor on Long Island, for which construction was basically completed and it had even been tested at very low power, from ever operating. Continue reading