Report details economic, social benefits from New York's nuclear plants

Courtesy of Exelon Corp.
Nuclear Matters released a report this week from the Brattle Group that indicated the economic and environmental benefits of New York's four nuclear power plants.
“The economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy are often undervalued in national and state energy policy discussions,” Mark Berkman, co-author of the report and a principal at the Brattle Group, said. “It is even more critical to consider the significant value of U.S. nuclear plants in a landscape where several factors threaten some nuclear facilities and could diminish the industry’s contribution to our electricity supply, the economy and the environment.”

The report said the state's plants -- Entergy's Indian Point Units 2 and 3 and Exelon's Nine Mile Point Units 1 and 2 -- account for approximately $2.47 billion of the state's gross domestic product. The study's researchers also said the carbon emissions saved by these facilities account for an additional $1.12 billion in saved social costs, based on U.S. governmental estimates on the social costs of carbon emissions.

The report also said that approximately $1.3 billion in electricity costs across the state are saved with these facilities and one located in Ontario. When combined, they have a generating capacity of 5,000 megawatts of electricity.

“Reducing carbon emissions is one of our country’s top priorities,” Evan Bayh, Nuclear Matters' co-chairman and a former U.S. senator from Indiana, said. “And yet, in this carbon-constrained world, existing nuclear energy plants receive no value for their ability to generate an astounding amount of carbon-free, reliable energy. The answer to one of our biggest environmental and economic challenges lies, in part, in nuclear energy. Without nuclear power, it would be impossible to achieve our carbon-reduction objectives, including the administration’s recently finalized Clean Power Plan.”

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