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.



Key compromises reached on Illinois energy bill, advocates say

As reported by Kari Lydersen in Midwest Energy News, including a sub-section entitled "Driven by nuclear subsidy."


IL Gov. Rauner team finally weighs in on massive energy bill


Headlines from today's Midwest Energy News

UTILITIES: Ohio-based FirstEnergy continues to seek ratepayer support in order to boost its credit rating. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION: Researchers say Ohio businesses, residents and industries saved $15 billion on electricity between 2011 and 2015 due to the state’s de-regulated market. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

COAL: An Ohio utility is considering closing two coal-fired plants in the southern portion of the state, citing “market-driven financial challenges.” (Dayton Daily News)

GRID: Consumer advocates say grid-reliability upgrades by AEP are not justified by the costs imposed on ratepayers. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL AND GAS: The Sierra Club files an antitrust complaint with federal regulators against a proposed natural gas pipeline through Ohio and southeast Michigan, alleging it will raise prices above competitive rates. (Detroit News)

[Beyond Nuclear has helped lead an environmental coalition for six years, seeking to block FirstEnergy Nuclear's license extension from 2017 to 2037 at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Great Lakes shore. FirstEnergy has long sought massive bailouts -- at ratepayer expense -- from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. But the money grab has largely failed, thanks to ongoing resistance by groups like Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and public interest and ratepayer advocacy organizations (such as AARP). FirstEnergy has secured subsidies for transmission upgrades. But its nuclear and coal lobbyists continue to try to re-regulate the electricity market in OH -- even though they demanded de-regulation in the first place, a decade or more ago -- and were rewarded massive "stranded cost" bailouts at that time, again at public expense. All this nuclear lobbying, simply because Davis-Besse can't compete with cheaper sources of electricity, including wind power.

The same coalition of which Beyond Nuclear is a part have also challenged the Fermi nuclear power plant in southeast MI for many years. It is owned by Detroit Edison (DTE). DTE owns/operates Fermi 2 -- a troubled Fukushima Daiichi twin design -- and proposes a new reactor, Fermi 3. DTE is also behind the NEXUS fracked gas pipeline.

Fermi and Davis-Besse are visible with the naked eye, one from the other, across the waters of Lake Erie's very shallow (average 23-24 feet deep) western basin.]


Massive Illinois energy bill divides clean energy groups

POLICY: A six-hour hearing Wednesday over a proposed massive energy bill in Illinois leaves clean energy groups divided due to the complex and vast mosaic of interests at play. (As reported by Kari Lydersen at Midwest Energy News).

As reported by E&E News, in an article entitled "Does Trump's wind upend or aid Exelon and its nuclear subsidy plan?":

The NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council] joined the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund this week in support of key pieces of the bill, including the nuclear subsidies and renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions in Commonwealth Edison's service areas in northern Illinois. The environmental groups continue to oppose provisions that support southern Illinois coal plants and less-aggressive efficiency goals. (emphasis added)

The E&E article also reported:

"...[Cara] Hendrickson from the [IL] attorney general's office said the nuclear provision alone would add $285 million a year to Illinois utility bills."

Given it's a six-year long scheme, that amounts to a $1.6 billion nuclear power bailout in IL.

One clean and safe energy group that adamantly opposes Exelon's nuclear power subsidies is the 35-year watchdog on Nuclear Illinois, the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Chicago. NEIS has issued action alerts opposing the massive proposed nuclear power subsidies, intended by Exelon to prop up age-degraded, financially failing atomic reactors that would otherwise permanently close (please spread word to everyone you know in IL, and urge them to take action):


Exelon's $1.6 Billion Bailout Up for a House Committee Vote Wednesday, Nov. 16 - Say "NO!" to Nuclear Bailout!
The Final Battle is upon us.  The Exelon Legislation, now going by the number SB 2814 Amendment 2, and the name of "the Future Energy Jobs Bill," will be heard in the House Energy Committee at 2 p.m., Wednesday Nov. 16th, in Springfield.
It is imperative that calls go in to your legislators the morning and afternoon of Nov. 16th, with the messages below.
What you can do:
1.)    Contact your State Legislators with this message: Simply say NO to Exelon's Nuclear Bailout!
  • NO bailouts for Exelon's aging, money losing reactors
  • Fix the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), once and for all
  • Oppose ComEd's  "demand charge" and monopolistic  community solar plan; and preserve solar net-metering
  • Support community created and controlled jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Enact a "just transitions" program for reactor communities and displaced workers; 
  • Enact strong reactor decommissioning laws
To find out who your State Legislators are, click here:
2.)   and also call...
3.)   IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL ACTION:  file your opposition with the House Energy Committee, especially if you represent an organization, by going to this link and following the instructions for filing a "witness slip" in opposition (you do NOT need to be present at the hearing to do this):
Some Background:
The Veto Session of the Illinois legislature begins this Tuesday, Nov. 15th, and it is expected that Exelon's $1.6 billion bailout bill - almost comically named "The Future Energy Jobs Bill" - will be voted on.  While the language of this Frankensteinian conglomeration of several pieces of previous legislation is still being discussed, enough of the "bads" are sure to remain in it to outweigh whatever "goods" might be promised (and then, at a later date, removed, sabotaged, "swept", or ignored).  We ask you to say "NO!" to Exelon's nuclear bailout bill.
The "bads" are expected to include:
  • A $1.6 billion bailout for three of Exelon's money-losing reactors
  • ComEd's universally unpopular "demand charge" way of billing customers
  • The elimination of solar "net metering" in its present form
The "bads" are all being sold to uninformed legislators as creating and preserving jobs, supporting (no joke!) renewable energy, and keeping electric rates "competitive."
The facts are that, for three years, Exelon has worked in Illinois and nationally to promote three goals: 1.) bail out their money-losing nuclear plants at ratepayer expense; 2.) kill, marginalize or control renewable energy and energy efficiency; and 3.) maintain the current and anachronistic "big box" utility model where they remain in virtually monopolistic control.
No amount of beads and trinkets offered in exchange can compensate for the long-term damage to a renewable energy future their game plan will lock in place.
NEIS will be providing updates as the Veto Session progresses.  Thanks for all you do!

For more information, contact:  NEIS,,, (773)342-7650 

David A. Kraft, Director
3411 W. Diversey #16
Chicago, IL  60647
SKYPE address:  davekhamburg
NEIS is a member of EarthShare Illinois

Report: Exelon Illinois nuclear bill could subsidize Dynegy coal plants