Archive: Nuclear

Artwork: Pixabay/POWER/SonalPatel

DOJ, FERC Back Illinois in Nuclear Subsidy Fight

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on May 29 told the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that Illinois’ nuclear subsidy program does not preempt federal statute, siding with the state and Exelon Corp. in a contentious legal fight that has divided the power sector. The case, now […]

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

Exelon Cuts Jobs Ahead of Oyster Creek Closure

The first of about 400 workers remaining at the soon-to-close Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey will begin leaving their jobs over the next few weeks, according to a notice filed this month by Exelon Corp. with the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filing […]

Arkansas Nuclear One

Three U.S. Nuclear Plants Get Poor Marks from NRC

Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) plan to hold a public hearing May 31 on the safety record of the Arkansas Nuclear One power plant in Arkansas, whose two units are among three cited by the agency for poor performance and other problems in its annual assessment of the nation’s nuclear fleet. The […]

Prairie Island nuclear power plant

Bill Supporting Xcel Energy Nuclear Plants Dies in Minnesota

A bill that would have provided more cost-recovery certainty for Xcel Energy’s two Minnesota nuclear plants didn’t get through the state House of Representatives prior to the legislative session ending on May 20, effectively killing the measure. The bill would have allowed Xcel to submit proposals to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) designating each […]

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

Exelon: Record Amount of Nuclear Capacity Failed to Clear PJM Auction

Exelon Corp.’s Three Mile Island, Dresden, and all but a small portion of its Byron nuclear plants failed to clear PJM Interconnection’s latest annual capacity auction—despite an average 83% surge in capacity prices compared to last year. While coal and gas made moderate gains, demand response, energy efficiency, wind, and solar emerged as the auction’s […]

Hope Creek_PSEG Nuclear

New Jersey Nuclear and Renewable Energy Bills Signed by Governor

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a few important energy bills on May 23 including one (S-2313) that establishes a zero emissions certificate (ZEC) program, which reportedly will provide the state’s nuclear power plants with $300 million a year in ratepayer subsidies. To qualify, the plants must demonstrate that they make a significant contribution to […]

The Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, Ohio, was inaugurated May 21, 2018. The natural gas-fired facility is among several projects either online or being developed by Florida-based NTE Energy. Courtesy: NTE Energy

NTE Opens Gas-Fired Middletown Plant in Ohio

NTE Energy on May 21 inaugurated the new Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, Ohio, the latest in a series of natural gas-fired power plants the Florida-based company is developing in Ohio, Texas, and North and South Carolina. NTE touts the 525-MW Middletown combined cycle facility as among the most efficient gas-fired power plants in the […]

Stock_ESBWR concept_GEH

Dominion Invests in GE-Hitachi Nuclear Development of 300-MW SMR

Dominion Energy will provide seed money to further work of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH’s) BWRX-300, a 300-MWe small modular reactor design (SMR). Dominion has “no plan at this time to build one at any of its commercial nuclear stations,” but the funding could help bring the SMR design closer to commercialization, GEH said in […]