Nuclear, O&M, Reactors, Renewables

More Upstate New York Nuclear Plants Could Shut Down Early

Refueling Outage Underway at Ginna Nuclear Plant

Exelon Generation (NYSE: EXC) said it will shut down two nuclear power reactors in New York if a compensation plan for nuclear plants in the state is not passed.

The utility told the New York Public Service Commission it needed to know by the end of September whether the proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES) will be passed, which would require 50 percent of all electricity used in the state come from clean and renewable energy sources by 2030. Those sources would include nuclear power. If it isn’t passed, Exelon said it could shut down the 640-MW Nine Mile Point Unit 1 and the 597-MW Ginna plant, according to Platts. The proposed plan would give zero-emission credit payments from electricity retailers to units 1 and 2 at Nine Mile Point, Ginna and Entergy’s (NYSE: ETR) 849-MW FitzPatrick nuclear plant. Entergy said it will shut down FitzPatrick in 2019.

Exelon said it needs to decide whether to move forward with about $55 million on fuel to be fabricated for a March 2017 refueling and maintenance outage at Nine Mile Point 1. Refueling at Unit 2 was completed this spring, the article said. Ginna must notify the PSC by September 30 whether it will continue operations under a reliability support services agreement. The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conditionally approved a settlement agreement that will keep Ginna open through March 2017.

L. Michael Treadwell, CEO of the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency and a member of Upstate Energy Jobs, responded to the news that Nine Mile Point 1 could close prematurely.

“We are very close to the finish line in this regulatory process, and the news that the plant could shut down without the CES is a reminder that the state’s economic and environmental future is now at stake,” Treadwell said. “If New York is serious about obtaining cleaner air and maintaining our economic health, which state leaders and energy stakeholders have said they are, then they should incent the outcome.”

Exelon recently requested a 20-year license extension for the dual-unit Peach Bottom nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. The utility also announced it was shutting down the Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear power plants in Illinois by 2018.

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