Let the market decide fate of nuclear plants
With coal plants closing and nuclear power in serious trouble, natural gas has taken on increasing importance. Cheap and abundant, gas has emerged as the Northeast’s number one source of electricity.
Compared to coal and nuclear power, natural gas is a bargain. Natural gas-fired combined-cycle units now cost less than $900 per kilowatt of installed capacity, making them more cost-competitive than either coal or nuclear power. The idea that natural gas will increasingly displace nuclear power in Pennsylvania is one that energy industry officials are now taking seriously.
A case in point: Owners of the Beaver Valley nuclear plant in Shippingport and the Three Mile Island plant in Middletown have announced plans to retire both plants prematurely, unless the state government switches course and attaches a value to nuclear power’s role in carbon mitigation and power reliability. But Pennsylvania has rejected the idea of including nuclear power in its renewable electricity standard.
Read full article at Lehigh Valley Live