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Showing posts from April, 2016

Nuclear Costs are Down and Performance is Up … Again

Michael Purdie The following is a guest post by NEI's Michael Purdie. In 2015, total generating costs for U.S. nuclear generation declined to $35.50/MWh from $36.35/MWh, a two percent decrease (2015 dollars).  Total generating costs are the “all-in” costs that include fuel, capital, and operating expenses. As the table below shows, the costs decreased roughly evenly between fuel ($0.31/MWh), capital ($0.22/MWh), and operations ($0.33/MWh).   While the costs declined in 2015, performance improved.   The nuclear industry operated at 92.2% capacity factor , which was an increase from 2014 (91.7%) and 2013 (89.9%). The nuclear industry is fighting to be valued properly in the electricity markets.  Not only do nuclear plants provide electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they provide clean energy , grid reliability , price stability, and fuel diversity .  Each of these attributes provides value that is not always priced into the market.  In a challenging economic enviro

The Conversation the Director of Meltdown Doesn’t Want to Have About Nuclear Energy

Tom Kauffman The following is a guest blog post by Tom Kauffman, NEI's Director of Media Relations. Over more than three decades since the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear accident , claims that radioactivity from the plant caused negative health effects have been refuted time and time again. In over twelve studies, not one found any detectable impacts. Any claim that cancer or other diseases have been caused by the accident doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. That holds for the industry as a whole too. In research conducted for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dr. James Hansen concluded that  the use of nuclear energy has saved 1.8 million lives that otherwise would have been lost due to burning of fossil fuels . Despite this compelling scientific evidence, a former resident of the area, Jill Murphy Long, is trying to distort the truth with a new film, Meltdown . In her conversations with the press, Long has said, "I think this conversation ne

How Advocacy Helped Repeal Wisconsin’s Nuclear Moratorium

Jon Breed The following guest post is from Jon Breed, manager of state and federal advocacy at NEI. On April 1st, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed a bipartisan bill ending Wisconsin’s 33-year moratorium against building new nuclear energy facilities . After signing the bill, Walker said that “nuclear energy sustains Wisconsin’s economy two ways, both in employing a skilled, well-paid workforce to run a nuclear plant, and in providing the affordable, reliable source of emission-neutral power on which all businesses and employers rely.” The passage of the bill is a testament to the power of coalitions and grassroots advocacy and will serve as a model for how pro-nuclear advocates drive policy outcomes in the future. A lot has changed in American politics in the past fifteen years. The age of shoe-leather lobbying has been supplemented by a new kind political influence: the power of coalition advocacy. This shift began with the rise of the internet and was refined by group

On Bernie Sanders, Nuclear Energy & Carbon-Free Electricity

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald . Senator Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t like nuclear power anywhere, now also doesn’t like it at Indian Point Energy Center . This shouldn’t surprise anybody, but Mr. Sanders is also against climate change, and against fossil fuels. The positions are impossible to reconcile. We’re not the only ones who have noticed. Bernie Sanders climate plan would actually increase carbon emissions — Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 7, 2015 A persistent idea is that energy from wind and sun will replace fossil and everything else. And for years, New York has had an aggressive plan to use more renewable energy. But it is just a plan. According to a national survey by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, released earlier this month, New York aimed to have about 9.5 million megawa