[From the ‘Unclear on the Concept Department’ (Nuclear generates ZERO CO2 emissions!) – Bob]
By Jeremy Deaton – Re-Blogged From NexusMedia
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans this week to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which supplies electricity to New York City and surrounding areas. The plant’s two working reactors — which account for roughly 10 percent of the state’s power generation — are slated to go offline in 2020 and 2021, more than a decade ahead of schedule.
Some environmentalists celebrated the closure. Others lamented the loss of a carbon-free source of energy, despite nuclear power’s potential hazards to humans and wildlife.
Nuclear power plants represent a range of risks, from hazardous radioactive waste to a full-scale meltdown. They also supply the bulk of America’s zero-carbon electricity. In laying out its carbon-cutting goals, the Environmental Protection Agency assumed that existing nuclear power plants would continue to hum and buzz for decades to come. But cheap natural gas is digging into the profits of America’s aging nuclear power plants, pressuring them to close ahead of schedule.
Some states, like Illinois, have thrown a lifeline to nuclear, subsidizing struggling plants, lest they be replaced by carbon-spewing natural gas. New York, by contrast, is betting that the hole created by Indian Point’s closure will be filled with solar, wind and hydropower.
In a statement, Cuomo said the plant’s closure won’t drive up emissions “at the regional level.” Given New York’s ambitious climate policies, he might be right.
Indian Point nuclear power plant. Source: Tony Fischer