The American Nuclear Society (ANS) released a version of a toolkit aimed at keeping U.S. nuclear power plants economically sound.
The ANS Special Committee on Nuclear in the States revealed the Nuclear in the States Toolkit Version 1.0, which suggests different policies for states to implement to help nuclear power plants avoid early retirement and help energy markets benefit nuclear financially. Committee members said the toolkit is not one size fits all for states, and that each state should use whatever policy benefits them best.
Some of the subjects covered in the toolkit include power contracts between nuclear plants and utilities, electricity capacity markets, portfolio standards and tax policies and subsidies.
Donald Hoffman, CEO and president of Excel Services, said the committee is working closely with governors to figure out what plan works best for their individual state.
“The value of nuclear is not equally understood from state to state. As a result, we have discovered while we may understand this information, many do not,” Hoffman said. “We want them to understand the good and the bad about nuclear. To our dismay, some of the facts were not fully understood.”
Peter Lyons, former assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy with the U.S. Department of Energy, said the toolkit is just the first step in saving the U.S. nuclear industry.
“We are developing a comprehensive report,” Lyons said. “We are trying to outline the benefits of nuclear in the states as a safe, highly reliable, clean energy with tremendous economic benefits in the state.”
Edward Kee, CEO of Nuclear Economics Consulting Group and a member of the special committee, said states with lawmakers who oppose nuclear such as California and New York, will also have a say in the toolkit.
“There are certain parties that want to see the end of nuclear power, but others who recognize the power of nuclear,” Kee said. “This toolkit could help states come to some bipartisan consensus to protect these facilities.”
Arizona, Illinois and New York proposed low-carbon or clean energy standards. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in November 2015 that nuclear would be included in the state’s renewable programs. The state would be required to generate at least 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including nuclear, by 2030. Some assume the move to include nuclear is a move to try and save the single-unit FitzPatrick nuclear plant in upstate New York.
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