THE BIG PICTURE: Nuclear Financial Meltdown

Cheap natural gas, stagnant power demand, and power prices that have fallen significantly since 2008 have jeopardized the economics of about two-thirds of the nation’s 100-GW nuclear capacity, according to a working paper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. About 21 GW in merchant deregulated markets are retiring, or are at high risk of retiring the paper suggests. Here’s a profitability outlook for all 61 nuclear plants in the U.S. over the short term (between 2017 and 2019), according to the research entity.

Source: “Early Nuclear Retirements in Deregulated U.S. Markets: Causes, Implications and Policy Options,” MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (March 2017) Copy and artwork by Sonal Patel, a POWER associate editor.


Updated (08/15/17): Corrects markets for North Anna, Indian Point 3, Surry, Donald C. Cook, LaSalle, Grand Gulf, Callaway, River Bend, Duane Arnold, and Wolf Creek.



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