Archive: Nuclear

Sanmen Unit 1 - AP 1000 Westinghouse

AP1000 Reactor Set for Commercial Operation in China

An AP1000 nuclear reactor at the Sanmen power plant in China will likely be the first of its kind to begin commercial operation, with reports saying the reactor could come online as early as September 21. A statement from China National Nuclear Power Company, issued to the stock exchange in Shanghai on September 20, said […]

The sun sets behind the Vogtle 1 and 2 cooling towers near the Unit 3 and 4 construction site in Georgia. Courtesy: Georgia Power (March 2016)

Vogtle’s Escalating Costs Concern Lawmakers, Stakeholders

The Vogtle nuclear expansion’s “ever-escalating” cost is concerning several members of Georgia’s General Assembly, according to a letter sent to partners building the much-delayed project. Twenty lawmakers from both houses of state government—19 Republicans and one Democrat—sent a letter to the board of directors at Georgia Power Co., Oglethorpe Power Co. (OPC), and Municipal Electric […]

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New Jersey. On March 6, three Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey introduced SB 3061 in the state Senate, a bill that directs the state's Board of Public Utilities to study ZECs of about $500 million per year for the state’s nuclear power plants, and requires the board to report back to the governor and legislature with its findings.


In a comment on the New Jersey bill submitted on March 20, industry group EPSA commended the bill's sponsors for "not rushing to judgment as ZECs are highly controversial." Public Service Enterprise Group—the state's largest electricity provider—"only started claiming that its nuclear plants may not be recovering their cost of capital to justify future investments and could be cash flow negative by 2020," it noted.


"This is apparently based on a comparison with illiquid forward power prices that may or may not accurately measure future revenues from these plants," it added (EPSA's emphasis). "For starters, if revenues below cost of capital and need to fund future investments are the standards to trigger consumer subsidies, many non-nuclear power plants (including those of EPSA members) would also qualify for out-of-market subsidies. Where would subsidies end?"


The national trade association for independent power producers and marketers also pointedly noted that ZECs are being pushed by utility holding companies that "own both market-based generation and cost-based retail distribution utilities to finance new corporate strategies to boost earnings by exiting competitive generation to focus on more assured earnings from their retail rate-regulated utilities."


The Oyster Creek unit is the oldest operating reactor in the U.S., having begun commercial operations Dec. 23, 1969. Exelon announced the retirement of the 625-MW plant on Dec. 8, 2010. The Ocean County, N.J.–facility is expected to be permanently closed in 2019. Courtesy: Exelon Nuclear

[VIDEO] An Iconic Nuclear Plant Shuts Down

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey, the oldest operating nuclear plant in the U.S., was shut down on September 17, 2018. For more, see “Oldest U.S. Nuclear Plant Shuts Down.” Visit our video archive

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Oldest U.S. Nuclear Plant Shuts Down

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey, the oldest operating nuclear plant in the U.S., was shut down September 17. Workers marked the closure with a ceremony at the plant, as 400 current employees and former workers watched via a livestream as operators took the plant offline. Oyster Creek, a 625-MW single-reactor plant […]

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Appeals Court Backs Illinois’ Nuclear Subsidies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on September 13 upheld subsidies offered by Illinois to help struggling nuclear power plants. The court rejected arguments from power producers and some Illinois energy consumers that so-called zero-emission credits (ZEC) are preempted by the Federal Power Act. Opponents argued the program violates the Commerce Clause […]

Vogtle nuclear expansion August 2018

Lawsuits Raise Stakes on Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Vote

As a vote by owners on the fate of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project hangs in the balance, the City of Jacksonville, Florida, and JEA—the city’s municipal utility that serves about 458,000 electric customers—filed a complaint in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida on September 11 asking for declaratory judgment on a power purchase […]

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EIA Report Says Coal Still King on State-by-State Basis

A report this week from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows coal-fired power was still the major source of generation on a state-by-state basis in 2017, though natural gas-fueled electricity production slightly outpaced coal overall The EIA’s report, published September 10, said 18 states relied on coal for the bulk of their power generation […]

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EPA Schedules One Hearing on Proposed ACE Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 10 announced it will hold one hearing to get input from the public and stakeholders on its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the Trump administration’s replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). The EPA said it has scheduled an all-day hearing October 1 at the Ralph […]

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California Mandates 100% Renewable Energy

California Gov. Jerry Brown on September 10 signed into law a measure requiring the state to produce all its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. It’s a goal that also has been set by Hawaii and is being discussed by other states. Environmental groups and renewable energy advocates immediately praised Brown’s action. Utilities operating in […]

A nuclear plant at sunset. Artwork:Victor Korniyenko/ POWER/Sonal Patel

IAEA: ‪Global Nuclear Power Industry Is ‘Struggling’

Nuclear power’s share of the world’s power generating mix could shrink dramatically from 10% in 2017 to just 5.6% in 2050 as the industry struggles with “reduced competitiveness,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggested in a new report. The international organization based in Vienna, Austria, that works to promote the peaceful use of nuclear […]