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Effect of Hurricane Florence on nuclear power stations – ruins the Trump administration’s case for supporting nuclear power

The Energy 202: Hurricane Florence blows hole in Trump team’s case for helping coal and nuclear power, critics say, WP, By Dino Grandoni,18 September 18 Hurricane Florence has blown a hole in the Trump administration’s argument that bolstering nuclear and coal-fired power is essential to providing reliable electricity to homes and businesses, especially during times of crisis, according to energy experts long critical of the plan.

For months, the Department of Energy has considered throwing a lifelineto that sector of the power market to make the electric grid more resilient to natural and man-made disasters. The Trump administration has been preparing to use a Cold War-era law, once marshaled by President Harry S. Truman to secure U.S. steel production, to compel regional grid operators to buy electricity from nuclear and coal plants.

The rationale is that only these two types of generation regularly have enough fuel on site to run for when national security is threatened. Wind turbines and solar panels only generate electricity when the weather is right while natural gas stations often have their fuel pipelined in from afar.

But hours before the once powerful hurricane made landfall in North Carolina on Friday, Duke Energy shut down its two reactors at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant near Wilmington, N.C. in anticipation of high winds. The temporary shutdown illustrates how many other factors beyond just fuel stored on site affect grid reliability. 

“There are so many flaws to their argument, we hardly need this to add,” said David Hart, professor of public policy at George Mason University. “There are lots of better ways to get reliability than to stockpile a lot of fuel.”

……..The Energy Department has yet to detail exactly what the plan to bolster coal and nuclear will look like after Trump ordered aid in June. The request comes as expensive coal and nuclear assets are retiring across the country in the face of competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy resources……..https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-energy-202/2018/09/18/the-energy-202-hurricane-florence-blows-hole-in-trump-team-s-case-for-helping-coal-and-nuclear-power-critics-say/5ba022621b326b47ec9596b9/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.66a830d4f690

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September 19, 2018 - Posted by | politics, USA

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