Skip to main content

Entergy Creates Nuclear Energy Spinoff

From the Wall Street Journal:
Entergy Corp. plans to spin off about half of its nuclear-power plants and create the nation's first stand-alone, publicly traded nuclear-energy company, underscoring how the once-shunned nuclear sector is getting a lift from increasing anxiety about other methods of making electricity.

Less than a decade ago, Entergy was picking up distressed nuclear assets on the cheap. In one case, it bought a plant for little more than the value of fuel on hand. Now Entergy, a New Orleans company with utilities in four Southeastern states, estimates it will be able to take assets for which it paid about $2 billion and put them in a new company with a market value approaching $20 billion, according to Chief Executive Officer Wayne Leonard.

The move puts pressure on other big nuclear operators to consider similar action. CEO John Rowe of Chicago's Exelon Corp., the biggest owner of nuclear capacity in the U.S., said: "It's something we constantly look at." The company reaped most of its third-quarter profit from its nuclear fleet, not its regulated utilities.

U.S. policy makers are giving nuclear power new respect out of concern about emissions blamed for global warming from existing coal-fired plants, and they are increasingly pessimistic about prospects for new ones. Existing nuclear plants have more value as the estimated cost of building new units rises.
For more on the economics of nuclear energy, see our Financial Center.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …