Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Math Proves It: Closing Diablo Canyon Will Save Money and Carbon by Amory Lovens

The Math Proves It: Closing Diablo Canyon Will Save Money and Carbon
“The big economic lesson here is that nuclear power’s ability to displace fossil-fueled generation is not simply about tons of carbon dioxide saved. Nuclear power also incurs an operating cost that for many reactors, including Diablo Canyon, has become very high. Saving and reinvesting that avoidable cost can buy a larger quantity of cheaper carbon-displacing resources, saving even more carbon. Nearly all commentators, even Bloomberg’s astute editorial board (twice), have overlooked this advantageous swap.”
-Dr. Amory Lovins, Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Forbes article, June 22, 2016
In his latest article for Forbes, Dr. Amory Lovins takes on the claim promulgated by the nuclear industry and its advocates that although atomic power is too costly to be profitable, nuclear energy merits large subsidies because its protects the earth’s climate from fossil fuel use. As Dr. Lovins points out, “Arithmetic is not an opinion. So let’s do the math.” According to Diablo Canyon owner Pacific Gas and Electric’s deal with environmental groups, Diablo Canyon’s atomic output will be phased out for 8-9 years and will be replaced timely and cost effectively by renewables. In laymen’s terms, this means no more carbon emissions at an increasingly lower cost to ratepayers as nuclear energy phases out. “How much less? Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says at least $1 billion (net present value to 2044),” writes Dr. Lovins.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/amorylovins/2016/06/22/close-a-nuclear-plant-save-money-and-carbon-improve-the-grid-says-pge/#651a691b4cea

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