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Old 12-14-2015, 08:17 PM   #161
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Seeing things like that make me wish that there was some kind of aptitude test required before a person can register to vote, and also makes me question the soundness of arguments in favor of everyone carrying a gun.





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Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Most of the pushback against nukes is not the plants themselves, but the waste, and storage/transportation of it.
Nuclear waste... So many misconceptions...


1: Nuclear waste isn't a glowing green liquid oozing out of rusty barrels like on The Simpsons. It consists of rectangular blocks 10 or 20 feet long and about a foot square consisting mostly of empty space, with some metal rods in between. It's not soluble in water, it can't become airborne, and it can't leak. It's literally just a block of metal.


2: 100% of all the nuclear waste generated from all sources in the US (civilian and military), from the very beginnings of the nuclear power era in the 1950s to the present day, if stored in a rectangular pile 7 meters high, would occupy a space the size of the red rectangle on this map if viewed from space:



Can't see it? That's because it's smaller than .01 of a pixel. (An area about the size of a football field.)


3: We actually have a facility suitable for long-term storage of all of the nuclear waste in the US currently existing, plus all that generated over the next thousand years assuming we use nothing but 20'th century-style fission reactors. It's in the Yucca Mountains of Nevada. The facility is complete and ready for operation, but its opening has been blocked by various corporate and political lobbies. The Obama administration shut it down completely in 2011.


4: Over the past 50 years, an amount of nuclear fuel equal to the total amount of fuel which would have been transported to Yucca has been safely transported cross-country without a single incident. This is due, in part, to the fact that it's transported in casks capable of withstanding several hours sitting in a pool of burning jet fuel before being T-boned by a rocket-powered locomotive without rupturing:


Standing next to one of these casks, a person receives less radiation than they do from standing in the main hall of Grand Central Terminal (which is constructed primarily of granite, which emits low levels of radiation. A typical railroad employee working a full-time job at the station can expect to receive approximately 120 millirem annually. This is higher than the allowable limit for an employee of a nuclear power plant.)


5: But even that is kind of irrelevant, since "nuclear waste" is one of the easiest things in the world to recycle. When a nuclear fuel bundle is "spent," it's actually got quite a lot of potential life left in it, it just needs to be crushed and re-cast. Which the US actually did until the 1970s, when our fuel reprocessing program was shut down due to "proliferation concerns," which is bullshit as countries such as India and Pakistan have already demonstrated how easy it is to build nuclear weapons without much in the way of advanced industrial infrastructure.


6: But even without reprocessing, you can burn spent nuclear fuel as-is in fast breeder reactors, or in reactors like the Canadian-designed CANDU (which Canada exports to a huge number of countries.) CANDU reactors are the peanut-oil engine of the nuclear world. You can burn used PWR / BWR fuel in them, you can run 'em on recycled nuclear warheads, you can even operate them, at reduced output, on unenriched raw uranium ore out of the ground.



The "nuclear waste" argument is nothing but a scare tactic, lacking any reasonable basis in reality. It's a fiction invented to justify a flawed argument.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:32 PM   #162
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I heartily agree. When I'm king of the world, I'll build a dozen nuke plants in every city in the world and tell the tree huggers to like it or die.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:38 PM   #163
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This North Carolina thing seems weirder and weirder every time I read more about it.

"A retired science teacher named Jane Mann (...) expressed her personal belief that solar panels were causing cancer among the community.
(...)
Despite the assurances of company representatives, the town not only voted against the solar farm, but later approved a moratorium on any future proposals."
North Carolina voters reject solar farm for fear panels might ?suck up all the sun?s energy? | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV


Two parallel trains of thought run through my head:

1: Well, at least people hysterically screaming about nuclear power plants seems a trifle less absurd now, at least by comparison.

2: To all the folks saying "oh, we can satisfy the nation's entire energy need with wind and solar," HA! If folks like this have their way, we'll all be burning wood to stay warm, and probably using stone knives to acquire bearskins to wear.



If I were a resident of Woodland, NC, I would very seriously be considering moving away right about now, just to distance myself from this sort of insanity.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:50 PM   #164
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I personally like burning wood for heat, although I prefer to use steel knives for my bearskins.
I support nuclear power.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:16 PM   #165
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I don't believe I've ever uttered this phrase before, but I'm going to say it now:

I can't even.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:31 PM   #166
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Recently, there was a wind farm proposal for my neck of the woods (until a trustee was caught taking kickbacks from the power company).
Many people objected to the proposal because they we afraid the windmills would cause vertigo, migraines, heart disease.. basically any identifiable disease.

I didn't want it because it would spoil the view from my roof, and it wouldn't do **** for my community.

I wouldn't mind one bit if a farm was cleared for a nuclear plant though.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:52 AM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
This North Carolina thing seems weirder and weirder every time I read more about it.

"A retired science teacher named Jane Mann (...) expressed her personal belief that solar panels were causing cancer among the community.
(...)
Despite the assurances of company representatives, the town not only voted against the solar farm, but later approved a moratorium on any future proposals."
North Carolina voters reject solar farm for fear panels might ?suck up all the sun?s energy? | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV


Two parallel trains of thought run through my head:

1: Well, at least people hysterically screaming about nuclear power plants seems a trifle less absurd now, at least by comparison.

2: To all the folks saying "oh, we can satisfy the nation's entire energy need with wind and solar," HA! If folks like this have their way, we'll all be burning wood to stay warm, and probably using stone knives to acquire bearskins to wear.



If I were a resident of Woodland, NC, I would very seriously be considering moving away right about now, just to distance myself from this sort of insanity.
Here is a better link with more info. The town voted no due to financial reasons, not because some crazy lady said something at the start of the meeting.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:47 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
Here is a better link with more info. The town voted no due to financial reasons, not because some crazy lady said something at the start of the meeting.
See, now I'm even more confused...
"Mary Hobbs has been living in Woodland for 50 years and said she has watched it slowly becoming a ghost town with no job opportunities for young people. She said her home is surrounded by solar farms and is no longer worth its value because of those facilities."
Mary, If your town has been in decline for 50 years, and is heading towards being a ghost town with no job opportunities, solar panels are not the reason for the decline in your property values.



"She added that the only people profiting are the landowners who sell their land, the solar companies, and the electric companies."

Well, them, plus like literally every human on earth who benefits from decreased pollution.



"Jane Mann said she is a local native and is concerned about the natural vegetation that makes the community beautiful. She is a retired Northampton science teacher and is concerned that photosynthesis, which depends upon sunlight, would not happen and would keep the vegetation from growing. She said she has observed areas near solar panels where vegetation is brown and dead because it did not receive enough sunlight."

Please raise your hand if you've never observed areas near nothing at all where vegetation is brown and dead.

If she's referring to the area directly below a solar array, then yes, this is obvious. By the same token, there's no healthy vegetation directly underneath your house, the local hospital, the grocery store, the elementary school, etc. What are your feeling as to whether those buildings should be torn down?


She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer. “I want to know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I want information."

See, these two things are directly contradictory. If no one can tell you that solar panels don't cause cancer, then you very clearly do not want information.

Bobby Mann said he watched communities dry up when I-95 came along and warned that would happen to Woodland because of the solar farms. “You’re killing your town,” he said. “All the young people are going to move out.”
As Mary Hobbs pointed out above, the young people have been moving out of your town because there are no jobs. Energy production do not cause job loss. (From a macroeconomic perspective, quite the opposite is true, in fact.)




BUT, as you noted, that's not really the meat of the story. This is:

The town would not benefit, from a tax base standpoint, from the solar farms because they are not located within the town limits, but only in the extraterritorial sections.
Wait, what?

You're opposed to something which would have a great benefit to a number of people being constructed somewhere OTHER than your town, on the ground that your town wouldn't be paid for not having it there?

I has a confuse...
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:06 AM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
See, now I'm even more confused...
"Mary Hobbs has been living in Woodland for 50 years and said she has watched it slowly becoming a ghost town with no job opportunities for young people. She said her home is surrounded by solar farms and is no longer worth its value because of those facilities."
Mary, If your town has been in decline for 50 years, and is heading towards being a ghost town with no job opportunities, solar panels are not the reason for the decline in your property values.



"She added that the only people profiting are the landowners who sell their land, the solar companies, and the electric companies."

Well, them, plus like literally every human on earth who benefits from decreased pollution.



"Jane Mann said she is a local native and is concerned about the natural vegetation that makes the community beautiful. She is a retired Northampton science teacher and is concerned that photosynthesis, which depends upon sunlight, would not happen and would keep the vegetation from growing. She said she has observed areas near solar panels where vegetation is brown and dead because it did not receive enough sunlight."

Please raise your hand if you've never observed areas near nothing at all where vegetation is brown and dead.

If she's referring to the area directly below a solar array, then yes, this is obvious. By the same token, there's no healthy vegetation directly underneath your house, the local hospital, the grocery store, the elementary school, etc. What are your feeling as to whether those buildings should be torn down?


She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer. “I want to know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I want information."

See, these two things are directly contradictory. If no one can tell you that solar panels don't cause cancer, then you very clearly do not want information.

Bobby Mann said he watched communities dry up when I-95 came along and warned that would happen to Woodland because of the solar farms. “You’re killing your town,” he said. “All the young people are going to move out.”
As Mary Hobbs pointed out above, the young people have been moving out of your town because there are no jobs. Energy production do not cause job loss. (From a macroeconomic perspective, quite the opposite is true, in fact.)




BUT, as you noted, that's not really the meat of the story. This is:

The town would not benefit, from a tax base standpoint, from the solar farms because they are not located within the town limits, but only in the extraterritorial sections.
Wait, what?

You're opposed to something which would have a great benefit to a number of people being constructed somewhere OTHER than your town, on the ground that your town wouldn't be paid for not having it there?

I has a confuse...
I don't want to say their reasoning is any good, just the reason that the first new story went with was wrong.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:32 AM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I don't want to say their reasoning is any good, just the reason that the first new story went with was wrong.
There's just too much rational thinking going on lately in this thread. It's giving me a headache...



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Old 12-17-2015, 10:43 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I don't want to say their reasoning is any good, just the reason that the first new story went with was wrong.
Sometimes, ignorant people make better press.

Still, it's not like the correct story is any less asinine. "We're going to block a renewable energy farm from being built somewhere else on the grounds that we wouldn't be paid for doing nothing if it were built."


Bill Nye Boo'd In Texas For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun

Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.

But don't tell that to the good people of Waco, who were "visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence," according to the Waco Tribune.

Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College's Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled "We believe in God!" and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they'd always suspected.

This story originally appeared in the Waco Tribune, but the newspaper has mysteriously pulled its story from the online version, presumably to avoid further embarrassment.

Bill Nye Boo'd In Texas For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun - Think Atheist
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:01 AM   #172
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To be fair to the good morons in Waco, it appears that they were more upset that Mr. Nye, who has been on something of an atheist crusade lately, went out of his way to discredit a passage from the bible, which was completely unnecessary for the topic at hand.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:14 AM   #173
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See, this is why any argument which blocks any fossil-free energy source, be it solar, nuclear, wind, or whatever, is wrong.

Yes, I checked, and it's not a joke. It STARTED as a joke, but became serious.

Chinese buy up bottles of fresh air from Canada - Telegraph


Chinese buy up bottles of fresh air from Canada
Canadian company which started out bottling Rocky Mountains air as a joke has seen its product fly off the shelves in pollution-hit China, with first shipment selling out in four days
By Jennifer Pak, Shenzhen1:17PM GMT 15 Dec 2015


A Chinese woman wears a mask connected to a filter in Beijing

A Canadian start-up company bottling fresh air from the Rocky Mountains has seen sales to China soar because of rising pollution levels.

Vitality Air was founded last year in the western Canadian city of Edmonton but began selling in China less than two months ago.

“Our first shipment of 500 bottles of fresh air were sold in four days,” co-founder Moses Lam says in a telephone interview with the Telegraph.

A crate containing 4,000 more bottles is making its way to China, but he says most of that shipment has been bought.

A 7.7 Litre can of crisp air taken from Banff National Park in the majestic Rocky Mountains range sells for roughly 100 yuan (£10), which is 50 times more expensive than a bottle of mineral water in China.

Most of their customers live in big cities in the northeastern and southern parts of China where severe pollution warnings have become a common occurence.
State news agency Xinhua has posted a picture online of the city centre barely visible under a thick soup of smog on Tuesday and reflects local frustrations with the caption: “Heavy smog hit China, again!”

This comes just over a week after Beijing issued a red alert for pollution that forced half of the cars off the roads.

The Canadian company is not the first to sell fresh air to the Chinese.

Last year, Beijing artist Liang Kegang fetched the equivalent of £512 for a glass jar filled with air taken from a business trip in southern France.


Beijing artist Liang Kegang poses with the jar of fresh air collected in Provence, France

In 2013, multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao sold pop-sized cans of air purportedly taken from less industrialised regions of China for 5 yuan (£0.50) each.

Vitality Air’s Mr Lam admits that he started out the company as a joke as well when he and co-founder Troy Paquette filled a plastic bag of air and sold it for less than 50 pence on the auction site Ebay.

A second bag sold for $160 (£105).

“That’s when we realised there is a market for this,” says Mr Lam.

Vitality Air sells bottled fresh air and oxygen across North America, to India and the Middle East. But China remains its biggest overseas market.

The company's China representative, Harrison ****, says their customers are mainly affluent Chinese women who buy for their families or give away as gifts. But he says senior homes and even high end night clubs have also stocked up on their product.

“In China fresh air is a luxury, something so precious,” says Mr ****.

He says a number of distributors have contacted them to sell their products.

Vitality Air’s biggest challenge is to keep up with demand because each bottle of fresh air is filled by hand.

“It’s very labour intensive but we also wanted to make it a very unique and fun product,” says co-founder Mr Lam.

“We may have bit off more than we can chew.”

The growing orders have been a pleasant surprise for him since his friends and family initially mocked the idea of selling something that most Canadians take for granted.

“My parents told me not to quit my day time job,” he says.

So far, Mr Lam has heeded this advice and still holds a bank job in Canada.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:56 AM   #174
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"Perri-Air" at last!


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Old 12-17-2015, 12:02 PM   #175
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The future is stupid...
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:16 AM   #176
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Watts Bar Unit 2 begins power generation | Times Free Press

First US nuclear unit to come on line in 20 years.

The newest reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant began generating electricity over the weekend.

The Tennessee Valley Authority synced Unit 2 reactor to the grid for the first time Friday and licensed operators have begun an initial test run of generation equipment.

The team is using this run to collect data to be sure generating equipment is prepared for continuous full-power operation later this summer.

"This is another major step in fully integrating Watts Bar Unit 2 as the seventh operating unit in TVA's nuclear fleet," TVA Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Grimes said in a statement. "It is rewarding to see TVA taking the lead on delivering the first new nuclear unit of the 21st century and providing safe, affordable and reliable electricity to those we serve."

The next step is full-plant testing of systems and controls at increasing reactor power levels up to 100 percent power by this summer.

Combined with Watts Bar Unit 1, the plant will supply power to roughly 1.3 million homes in the TVA service area


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Old 06-07-2016, 11:45 AM   #177
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:13 AM   #178
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:45 AM   #179
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Care to scrape the fulltext for those of us who aren't WSJ subscribers?
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:21 PM   #180
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Environmental Groups Change Tune on Nuclear PowerFocus on climate change has raised profile of reactors, now viewed as reliable, carbon-free source of energyBy
AMY HARDER
Some of the nation’s most influential environmental groups are softening their longstanding opposition to nuclear power, marking a significant shift in the antinuclear movement as environmentalists’ priority shifts to climate change.

The change is lowering one of the biggest political hurdles facing the nuclear power industry in the U.S. and comes at a critical time, as several financially struggling reactors are set to shut down.

“Because the historical context is that these groups were opposed to nuclear, their absence on the opposition front is noticed,” said Joe Dominguez, executive vice president for governmental and regulatory affairs for Exelon Corp., the biggest owner of nuclear plants in the U.S. “I think it’s pretty significant.”

Nuclear power, which emits no greenhouse gases, provides roughly 20% of U.S. electricityand 60% of carbon-free electricity, according to federal data. Pressed by cheap natural gas and state policies that favor renewables over nuclear power, roughly a dozen reactors are either poised to shut down in the coming years or have already.PREVIOUS COVERAGEThe Sierra Club, the country’s oldest and largest environmental group, is debating whether to halt its longtime position in support of shuttering all existing nuclear-power plants earlier than required by their federal operating licenses. The environmental group’s leaders see existing reactors as a bridge to renewable electricity and an alternative source of energy as the group campaigns to shut down coal and natural gas plants.

The Environmental Defense Fund is similarly deciding to what extent it should adjust its policy, potentially lending its support to keeping open financially struggling reactors.

In Illinois, the Natural Resources Defense Council, along with the Sierra Club and EDF, are among the advocacy groups working with Exelon and state lawmakers on a legislative deal that would reverse a decision the company made in early June to close two nuclear reactors in the next two years. The agreement would promote more energy efficiency and renewable energy while ensuring the reactors remain in operation by providing financial recognition for the zero-carbon electricity they produce.

The shift in attitude, Mr. Dominguez said, has a clear impact on energy companies’ bottom line because it “allows for agreements on statewide policies, whereas before I didn’t think we could get there.”

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, says his group is focusing most of its resources on closing coal plants and preventing the construction of new natural gas plants.MORE IN BUSINESS

“We’re actively debating the timeline in which nuclear plants should be decommissioned as we reduce our reliance on coal and gas in the electric sector,” Mr. Brune said.

The shift is twofold. Some environmental groups that have in the past protested existing reactors are now at times staying on the sidelines. In other cases, such as the one in Illinois, environmentalists are actively working toward keeping reactors open.

Very few new nuclear plants, meanwhile, are set to come online soon because of market conditions, so the debate has focused largely on the fate of existing reactors. Most major environmental groups remain opposed to creating new nuclear plants, instead preferring renewable electricity.

Most environmentalists have long opposed nuclear power due to a host of concerns, including the risk of a catastrophic accident (a worry heightened by Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011), unresolved questions on radioactive waste storage, the potential for weapons proliferation from the fuel and a preference for renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Over the last couple of years, as climate change has climbed to the top of the agenda of nearly all major environmental groups, influential leaders in both the climate science and policy arenas have shifted positions. Many now back this carbon-free source of energy, especially the existing fleet of approximately 100 reactors at about 60 power plants, which provide a steady source of electricity compared with the intermittence of wind and solar.

Michael Shellenberger, co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute, a progressive think tank, founded an organization in January called Environmental Progress whose initial mission is focused on backing nuclear power to address climate change.

“If anything gives me hope in these dark times, it’s that so many environmentalists are changing their minds about nuclear,” said Mr. Shellenberger, who says he switched his position and began supporting nuclear power in 2011. “What was just a trickle of converters a few years ago has become a positive stampede.”

Some environmental groups, including Greenpeace, continue to actively fight to shut down existing nuclear plants, saying the environmental risks, from radiation emissions to waste disposal, far outweigh any climate benefit.NUCLEAR SHUTDOWNRoughly a dozen nuclear reactors have either shut down or are set to shut down in the coming years, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. By closure year:
  • 2013: Crystal River 3 in Florida, San Onofre 2 & 3 in California, Kewaunee in Wisconsin
  • 2014: Vermont Yankee in Vermont
  • 2016: Fort Calhoun in Nebraska
  • 2017: FitzPatrick in New York, Clinton in Illinois
  • 2018: Quad Cities 1 & 2 in Illinois
  • 2019: Pilgrim in Massachusetts, Oyster Creek in New Jersey


That is prompting these groups to oppose deals like the one in Illinois. “Illinois should not be bailing out old and dangerous nuclear reactors just because they can’t compete,” said Jim Riccio, nuclear policy analyst for Greenpeace.

After reactors closed in Southern California and New England in 2013 and 2014, respectively, emissions in those regions rose after having declined for some time, according to data from nonprofit electricity transmission organizations. Regulators replaced those reactors with natural gas, which is often the cheapest option but emits carbon dioxide.

Mr. Dominguez of Exelon cited a December announcement by New York Democratic Gov.Andrew Cuomo in favor of the continued operation of upstate nuclear plants as symbolizing the new mood.

“When Gov. Cuomo put a stake in the ground saying we’re going to save the upstate nuclear plants, I think that was a really significant turning point,” Mr. Dominguez said.

Write to Amy Harder at [email protected]
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