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Collapse of USA’s nuclear industry: more shutdowns and bailouts to come

More Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns, Bailouts In The Works, WSKG, 1 Apr 18 By Reid Frazier STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Citing market challenges,” electric utility FirstEnergy says it will close three nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, while at the same time asking the Department of Energy for immediate help to keep its fleet of coal and nuclear plants open.

The company, which could be near bankruptcy according to a report at, gave regional grid operator PJM interconnection notice that it will deactivate Beaver Valley Power Station and two other plants — Davis-Besse in Oak Harber, Ohio, and Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio — by 2021.

……. Natural gas and renewable energy have been making up a larger amount of the country’s electric grid, eating into coal and nuclear power on wholesale markets. With that backdrop, FirstEnergy is also asking the Department of Energy to issue an immediate emergency order to PJM Interconnection, the grid operator for mid-Atlantic states, to provide “just and reasonable” compensation to its fleet of aging coal and nuclear power plants in order to keep them open.

“Nuclear and coal-fired generators in PJM have been closing at a rapid rate — putting PJM’s system resiliency at risk — and many more closures have been announced,” the company said, in a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “PJM has demonstrated little urgency to remedy this problem any time soon — so immediate action by the Secretary is needed to alleviate the present emergency.

…..The order would be similar to one that Perry’s own Department of Energy proposed last year, which would have made ratepayers pay more for energy produced at coal and nuclear plants. In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected the proposal.

Environmental groups were swift to label the plan a “bailout” for the coal industry.

“If Rick Perry and Trump Administration take the bait and actually issue this ill-advised and illegal emergency order, that means they’re happy to let energy bills and pollution skyrocket, just to bail out a handful of rich coal and nuclear executives,” said Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, in a statement.

The oil and gas industry was no less harsh in its criticism……..

In addition to looking for federal assistance, FirstEnergy is asking states for help, too.

Don Moul, president of FirstEnergy Solutions, the company’s power generation subsidiary, called on legislators in Ohio and Pennsylvania to help keep the nuclear plants open……..

April 2, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics

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