fitzpatrick-nuclear-plan-new-york-1124.jpg.crop_display.jpg Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Nuclear Up in NY, Down in UK

Nuclear power's turbulent future

New York regulators have agreed to provide $500 million a year in subsidies to keep upstate nuclear reactors in business, according to a report in the New York Times.

Across the Atlantic, the new British government says it wants to go slow on a plan to build a new French nuclear installation backed with Chinese financing, the Times also is reporting.

Both developments underscore the complexity of keeping the nuclear option alive at a time of increased focus on energy efficiency and renewables.

In New York, the average cost per customer of supporting nuclear power plants to combat climate change will amount to about $2 a month, according to the New York Public Service Commission.

The support is intended to help keep online Exelon’s R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point plants, along with Entergy’s James A. FitzPatrick plant.

“Without those reactors, the state’s distributors of electricity would have to obtain more power from power plants fueled by gas and coal, which emit more carbon and would detract from the governor’s clean-energy goals, said Audrey Zibelman, the chairwoman of the commission,” according to the Times report.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May decided to postpone at least for several more months a plan for a new Hinkley Point B power station in Somerset, England which would produce 3,200 megawatts and cost about $23.7 billion.

Having served as home secretary for six years before becoming prime minister, Mrs. May is security minded and had expressed concerns in cabinet meetings during the Cameron administration about bringing Beijing into such a sensitive project. The project is meant to provide about 7 percent of Britain’s electricity needs,’ the Times reported.

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