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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.

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Wednesday
Nov232016

Demand charges removed from Illinois nuke bailout bill

As reported by PV Magazine:

The move follows the governor’s office calling such charges “insane”. The provision to eliminate net metering has also been removed, as well as subsidies for coal-fired power plants...

What remains in the bill is the bailout for two nuclear plants in Illinois, but this is limited to 10 years. That this provision remains is not surprising, given that Exelon is not only Commonwealth Edison’s parent company, but the largest operator of nuclear power plants in the United States.

SB 2814 is currently being rammed through a special session of the Illinois Legislature intended for bills that were vetoed by the governor to be reconsidered. However, it is also where bills are often passed with less consideration for details.

Tuesday
Nov222016

Nuke bailout gets new life in Springfield energy bill

Tuesday
Nov222016

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."

Monday
Nov212016

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

Friday
Nov182016

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.]