On November 8, UCS released The Nuclear Power Dilemma: Declining Profits, Plant Closures, and the Threat of Rising Carbon Emissions, which found that more than one-third of existing nuclear plants, representing 22 percent of total US nuclear capacity, is uneconomic or slated to close over the next decade. Without new policies, we found that if these and other marginally economic nuclear plants are closed before their operating licenses expire, the electricity would be replaced primarily with natural gas. If this occurs, cumulative carbon emissions from the US power sector could rise by as much as 6 percent at a time when we need to achieve deep cuts in emissions to limit the worst impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, some of the media coverage and statements by the nuclear industry and other groups have mischaracterized our report and our past work. Here are seven points to correct the record: The report does not promote new nuclear power plant construction. The report does not advocate for subsidies for any specific nuclear plants. Existing nuclear plants must also meet strong safety standards to be eligible for support. Not every currently operating nuclear plant should stay open. Not every nuclear plant that retires early will be replaced with fossil fuels. UCS has long recognized the role of existing nuclear plants in reducing carbon. UCS has long supported a low carbon electricity standard (LCES), but not at the expense of renewable electricity standards (RES).
UCS 16th Nov 2018 read more »