Nuclear Costs

Estimates for new reactor construction costs continue to sky-rocket. Conservative estimates range between $6 and $12 billion per reactor but Standard & Poor's predicts a continued rise. The nuclear power industry is lobbying for heavy federal subsidization including unlimited loan guarantees but the Congressional Budget Office predicts the risk of default will be well over 50 percent, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear opposes taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear energy industry.



NIRS national telebriefing on Trump's Nuclear and Coal Bailouts, featuring Rocky Mountain Institute's Amory Lovins, Wed., Nov. 1st, 8pm

NIRS announcement:

Dear Friend,

You are invited to NIRS’s next national telebriefing, Trump’s Nuclear and Coal Revival Plan: What It Means for our Energy Future, featuring world-renowned energy expert Amory Lovins, on Wednesday November 1st at 8:00pm - 9:30pm

Eastern (7pm Central / 6pm Mountain / 5pm Pacific).

The telebriefing is free, but registration is required.

Last month, the Trump administration unveiled a radical plan to promote nuclear power and coal with a massive national bailout. The plan has far-reaching implications for energy and the environment. And it will cost the public over $100 billion in higher energy bills!

Energy expert Amory Lovins has been outspoken in challenging the bailout plan and will share his views on what it means for clean energy in the United States. He will discuss the nuclear-coal bailout and what we can do to stop it, he will also take your questions. 

Amory Lovins is co-founder of Rocky Mountain Institute and a long-time friend of NIRS. He is a leader in helping industry, government, and society transition to a profitable carbon-free future.

Please join us for this vital session on Wednesday Nov 1 at 8:00pm - 9:30pm Eastern (7pm Central / 6pm Mountain / 5pm Pacific).

The briefing will occur on the eve of the COP23 global climate conference in Bonn, Germany. The Trump administration is not only setting a bad example for the world by pushing for dirty energy here at home, but they are also trying to undermine climate action globally by threatening to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

NIRS is mobilizing with the international Don’t Nuke the Climate campaign to stop nuclear power from stealing green energy funds and undermining climate action. Please help us make sure global leaders hear from grassroots activists and communities impacted by nuclear power, uranium mining, and radioactive waste by supporting the campaign

Thanks for all you do!

Tim Judson
Executive Director

Join us for our national telebriefing on Trump’s Nuclear and Coal Revival Plant with Amory Lovins! REGISTER NOW!



Beyond Nuclear joined with 90 other organizations, on comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), opposing the old coal and nuclear power plant bailout euphemistically dubbed the "Reliability and Resiliency Rule." See the coalition comments, and full list of signatory organizations, here.

Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), a leader of the environmental coalition, submitted the comments by FERC's incredibly short deadline of October 23, 2017.

Thank you to groups which responded to Beyond Nuclear's action alerts, urging organizations to sign onto this coalition comment letter.

Beyond Nuclear also signed onto an Ohio and Michigan grassroots coalition comment letter, initiated by attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo. Lodge represents Beyond Nuclear and local grassroots environmental coalitions at such atomic reactors as Fermi 2 (and the proposed Fermi 3), as well as Palisades, in Michigan, and also Davis-Besse in Ohio.

In addition, NIRS submitted 868 individuals, supplementing 10,561 it hand delivered on October 11th. Beyond Nuclear joined NIRS and Food & Water Watch at the rally, at FERC HQ front entrance in Washington, D.C., before the petitions were hand delivered. Thanks too to everyone who has taken action on Beyond Nuclear's alerts, calling for support of the NIRS petition.

Public Citizen reports that its own petition garnered nearly 18,000 signatures -- so thanks too to readers who took action on Beyond Nuclear's alerts encouraging support for that one too. Public Citizen's Energy Program Director, Tyson Slocum, also submitted his own set of comments.

For those individuals who haven't already, please sign the NIRS petition, and also the Public Citizen webform. There is a November 7th FERC deadline, for "response" to comments already submitted -- so additional opposition by our side can be registered by that date.

Likewise, there is still time to add your group's name to the NIRS coalition letter mentioned above -- to sign on, just fill out the form here:

To see the text of the coalition comments letter, and to see the 91 groups currently signed on, click on the top most link in this web posting.

Analysis by the Sierra Club estimates that this old coal and nuke plant bailout could cost ratepayers $14 billion per year. (Reports are that well over 22,000 Sierra Club members also petitioned FERC on this outrageous proposal -- given that many tens of thousands of public comments described here and above, this could well explain why FERC's public comment website "melted down" as the deadline approached!)

Thus, when extended over the likely decade+ long life of the policy, NIRS $180 billion+ cost estimate holds true.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) has also provided critical analysis of the proposed bailouts.


Lawmakers grill Perry on travel, grid proposal

As reported by E&E News (the article is behind a pay wall). The article begins:

Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended his private airplane travel and his plan to alter electricity markets this morning in the face of strong questioning from House lawmakers.

The alteration to electricity markets refers to proposed massive subsidies, at ratepayer expense, to "compensate" dirty, dangerous, and expensive coal and nuclear plants for bogus "reliability and resilience" benefits.

Perry's recent trips using expensive chartered air travel included a visit to a coal mine in PA, and a uranium enrichment plant in OH. At the same time, atom splitters and coal burners in OH -- namely, FirstEnergy -- and its local supporters have been lobbying Perry for bailouts to keep the dangerously age-degraded Davis-Besse nuclear reactor, and polluting coal plants, operating despite their inability to compete in electricity markets.


Lawmakers to grill Perry on grid resiliency plan


They were paid HOW MUCH?!

As reported by The State in South Carolina, the top three execs at nuclear utility SCANA were compensated to the tune of $2.5 to $6.1 million in 2016 alone. The grand total for the three was $11.2 million.

Under the so-called "leadership" of these three corporate execs, ratepayers were bilked for billions of dollars of rate increases, to build the proposed new reactors at Summer Units 2 & 3.

The cost overruns and schedule delays, combined with those at the Vogtle 3 & 4 new build in GA, led to Westinghouse Nuclear's bankruptcy.

On July 31, SCANA and its partner, SCE&G, pulled the plug on Summer 2 & 3. SC ratepayers were left holding the bag.

Voglte 3 & 4 slog ahead, despite it all.

A federal investigation is now underway, regarding potential criminal wrongdoing at Summer 2 & 3. For example, The State now reports that seven years ago, the SC nuclear utilities knew natural gas was much cheaper than new nuclear, and that Summer 2 & 3's electricity was not even needed in SC. In addition, the utilities contracted Bechtel Corp. to do a study, published 1.5 years ago, showing the severe problems at Summer 2 & 3 -- but the report was kept secret, until very recently, when it was released by SC's governor, as well as obtained by subpeona by the U.S. Attorney in SC.