Fight brewing over prospect of nuclear power plant shutdowns
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers sympathetic to nuclear power plants are making a push for state action to rescue plants at risk of being shut down by their energy company owners.
Four lawmakers calling themselves the Nuclear Energy Caucus released a 44-page report Thursday, calling for action to avoid plants shutting down and warning that shutdowns would devastate communities that depend on the plants’ jobs and property taxes.
The prospect of bailing out nuclear power plants is spurring a debate over why Pennsylvania ratepayers should foot the cost and whether nuclear power provides an environmental benefit in the age of global warming.
Three Mile Island’s owner, Chicago-based Exelon Corp., announced last year that the plant that was the site of a terrifying partial meltdown in 1979 will close in 2019 unless Pennsylvania comes to its financial rescue. Earlier this year, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. said it will shut down its three nuclear plants, including Beaver Valley Station in Shippingsport, Beaver County, within the next three years unless Pennsylvania ste
Proposals in the report include requiring utilities to buy a certain amount of nuclear power or imposing a fee on carbon emissions, ideas designed to make the cost of nuclear power more competitive as it faces pressure from a booming natural gas industry.