NEI praises Clean Power Plan's recognition of nuclear power

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) issued a report on the final Clean Power Plan from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its recognition of the impact of nuclear power on Wednesday.

Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the NEI, said this iteration of the Clean Power Plan requires larger reductions in carbon emissions and mass-based compliance approaches.

“Those two factors will drive increased recognition of the value of existing nuclear power plants. Existing carbon-free generation is automatically valued under a mass-based approach,” Fertel said.

The NEI states that carbon-abatement value of nuclear plants under construction and those that receive updates that improve output of electricity to be counted in emission reduction target compliance. Emission-free power that is generated by nuclear energy amounts to approximately 63 percent, followed by hydroelectric power at nearly 20 percent and solar, wind and geothermal making up approximately 17 percent.

In the rule's text, the EPA recognizes the impact that current nuclear power generators play, stating that generation capacity of newer nuclear facilities would be able to replace fossil-fuel based generation plants. They also state that nuclear power has allowed emissions to be lower than they would normally be.
The EPA did not take suggestions from the NEI to treat license extensions as new capacity. Fertel said the licensing renewal process is a costly one that can range from $500 million to $1.5 billion.

Organizations in this Story

Nuclear Energy Institute U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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