Great news from Illinois - nuclear

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From Forbes:

Illinois Sees The Light -- Retains Nuclear Power
Last Thursday, December 1st, the Illinois State Legislature passed a measure that will allow continued operation of two of the state’s six nuclear power plants.

In a nail-biter more reminiscent of overtime at the Super Bowl, the Illinois State Legislature passed The Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814) with less than an hour remaining in the legislative session. The bi-partisan bill allows Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants to remain open, saving 4,200 jobs and over 22 billion kWhs of carbon-free power each year, more than all of the state’s renewables combined.

These two plants were in jeopardy of closing because even at a low cost of five cents or so per kWh, they were losing a combined $100 million per year because they could not compete with cheap natural gas and wind energy that is subsidized at 2.3¢/kWh. Illinois taxpayers subsidize solar energy at 21¢/kWh. This bill provides these nuclear plants with just 1¢/kWh, and only until market conditions change.

Once again, the only reason that alt.energy works is because it is heavilly subsidized. Our tax dollars are going to fund this energy rat-hole. A bit more - the big picture:

Nuclear power produces over half of Illinois’ electricity, all with no carbon or other polluting emissions. The enormous negative impact of shutting down nuclear plants because of an artificial market finally got through to the Legislature, since the generating capacity of these nuclear plants would have to be replaced by natural gas or coal, doubling the State’s total carbon emissions and ensuring that the state would not meet its emissions goals anytime soon.

And if they had not done this:

This is just what happened in New England after the unnecessary closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in 2014. Their clean nuclear energy was replaced entirely by natural gas and out-of-state purchases, the local community was devastated economically, and electricity prices have increased. Fortunately, people are starting to wise up:

Earlier this year, a coalition of scientists and conservationists, including famed climate scientist James Hansen, anti-nuclear activist turned nuclear proponent Michael Shellenberger, and Whole Earth catalogue founder Stewart Brand, sent an open letter to Illinois legislators asking them to “do everything in your power to keep all of Illinois’s nuclear power plants running for their full lifetimes.”

Even the Sierra Club reluctantly supported this bill.

Good news - consider the advances that have been made with personal computers in the last twenty years. The same kinds of advances have happened throughout the entire technological world - nuclear included. There are designs - LFTR or high temperature pebble bed reactors that are walk-away safe and very cheap to build as they do not require the large pressure vessel or containment structure.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on December 4, 2016 4:06 PM.

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