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Plans to expand South Texas nuclear plant are shelved, as the economics of nuclear get worse

global-warming-nuke2 Nuclear power is no solution to climate change. Nuclear proponents conveniently omit the carbon emissions at all stages of the nuclear fuel chain – from uranium mining through to burial of wastes and dead reactor – and even some emissions from the reactor’s operation itself.
Fission may fizzle as nuclear power reacts to economics, Houston Chronicle, Ryan Holeywell, 3 April 15  financial-disaster-1 “…….As cutting carbon emissions becomes a priority for government and business, proponents of the nuclear power sector say their technology is the perfect way to fill a void as coal plants close under the weight of new environmental rules.
But they also acknowledge that in the age of cheap natural gas, the economic headwinds might be too strong to allow a nuclear renaissance.
While officials at the South Texas Plant tout the important role of nuclear energy to the country’s energy mix, NRG has shelved plans to help finance the expansion of the facility from two units to four.

“The economics of new nuclear just don’t permit the construction of those units today,” NRG spokesman David Knox said………

to add nuclear power to states’ renewable portfolio standards.

Those rules require electric producers to generate – or buy from other generators – a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources. In Texas and most other states, eligible sources include wind, solar and biomass power, but not nuclear……..

Another hurdle for nuclear power is the largely flat U.S. electricity demand, held down by a sluggish economic recovery and increasing energy efficiency of houses and appliances.

For now at least, the industry struggles to overcome the obstacles…….

Krancer argues that federal tax credits for wind power make it difficult for nuclear to compete on a level playing field in competitive electric markets.

That message falls flat among most environmental advocates. The Sierra Club, for example, says the 2011 Fukushima disaster triggered by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan shows nuclear is still too risky.

And, the organization says, the lack of a long-term federal plan on nuclear waste disposal leaves safety questions unanswered.

The Sierra Club also contends that the billions of dollars it costs to build nuclear reactors would be spent more wisely on developing renewable sources like solar and wind.

The economic hurdles facing nuclear plants are especially acute in Texas and other deregulated electricity markets, said Julien Dumoulin-Smith, a utilities equities analyst at investment bank UBS…….

John Coequyt, director of the Sierra Club’s federal and international climate campaign: –  “All the environmental groups understand: nuclear isn’t a good solution to climate change. It’s too expensive and it’s too slow.”

 

April 4, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment