NEI's CEO calls on states to preserve nuclear plants despite adversity

Marvin Fertel
Marvin Fertel | Courtesy of the NEI

Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) President and CEO Marvin Fertel spoke during the U.S. Energy Association's recent 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum in Washington, D.C.

Fertel noted the importance of recognizing the value of nuclear energy in reducing carbon emissions and providing reliable, clean sources of electricity, and he called on states to provide the economic and market conditions needed to support nuclear facilities. 

Fertel warned that nuclear plants are at risk of closing before their license-expiration dates because of problems with states' electricity markets and concerns over new federal regulations. New York, Massachusetts and Vermont know firsthand about such conditions, as each either has lost or is about to lose a nuclear plant.

One measure that Fertel recommended was to treat carbon-free energy sources equally to alleviate economic and market concerns for nuclear plants. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan was discussed by attendees at the forum. Fertel said that while the plan does offer benefits to plants under construction, it does not provide the same for plants currently in operation.

“We’re going to work with the states to try to do everything we can to ensure that nuclear plants get fair treatment in how we’re going to implement the Clean Power Plan,” Fertel said. “If you’re serious about carbon reduction, you have to be serious about keeping existing nuclear plants operating.”

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