Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cuomo & Bloomberg Fight Over Closing A Nuclear Plant: A Tale of Costs And Risks

Governor Cuomo is blazing an interesting energy trail that includes starting shale production and closing a nuclear plant.

Citing risks of running Indian Point nuclear plant and its two reactors that are 35 miles from the heart of New York City,Governor Cuomo campaigned on a platform to close the 2,000 megawatt plant. The licenses are scheduled for renewal in 2013 and 2015.

Mayor Bloomberg does not support closing the plants, citing the costs of closure that include a 10% or more increase in electricity prices and dirtier air, according to a study done by Charles River Associates for Mayor Bloomberg.

Indian Point provides close to 25% of the power in New York City and Westchester.

As Marcia Brystryn of the New York League of Conservation Voters states, "Whatever the alternatives are put in place to generate that power that we'll lose, the air will inevitably be dirtier."

The Indian Point and  Georgia Vogtle plants (see prior post) reveal the completely different consumer impacts created by building a new nuclear plant versus closing an existing nuclear plant.  The economics of each decision are radically different.

In the real world of energy choices, there are no perfect options. Every choice has a cost and benefit and every decision impacts other decisions. 

Say no to Indian Point and Vogtle in Georgia, and that means saying yes to natural gas power plants to a greater extent.

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