SCANA Corp. Announcement Is "Very Bad News for the Climate"
August 01, 2017
WASHINGTON—Third Way issued the following statement from Josh Freed, Vice President for Clean Energy:
"It’s very bad news for the climate that SCANA Corp. decided to abandon construction of two new nuclear reactors at VC Summer plant in South Carolina. We need a robust nuclear power sector in the United States to provide zero emissions energy, and maintain our global leadership on nuclear safety and nonproliferation. This announcement means that emissions will be higher than they would if the plants were completed, jobs will be lost, and that the future of additional new large light water reactors is in jeopardy.
"America’s civilian nuclear sector provides almost 60% of our clean electricity as a source of around-the-clock emissions-free generation, employs tens of thousands of workers predominantly in rural areas, and helps enable the United States to be a leader in international nuclear safety and nonproliferation. Around the world, more than 60 reactors are under construction and 440 reactors are in operation. Georgia Power recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to takeover construction of two new reactors at its Vogtle Power Station.
"American influence will go away without a vibrant, domestic commercial nuclear sector. That would mean a very diminished role in nonproliferation and nuclear safety practices across the world, and less zero carbon electricity, or heat for industry, in the U.S. Congress can help maintain American leadership in the near-term by extending the advanced nuclear production tax credit.
"In an economy where flexibility, scalability, and extremely low costs are rewarded, and resiliency and carbon reduction are not, it may be asking too much to expect U.S. utilities to invest in large projects the size of modern, light water nuclear reactors. That is why we strongly advocate for the commercialization of advanced nuclear power plants, which could provide zero emissions energy and services including for electricity, energy for remote communities, or heat for industrial processes. These reactors can be smaller, more flexible, and provide power at a lower cost. There is virtually no credible scenario where the United States meets its 2050 decarbonization goals without keeping our existing nuclear plants open, and building new nuclear reactors. For this to happen, however, we will need a continued, robust partnership between innovators, the private sector, and the federal government to get these advanced reactors licensed, commercialized and built."
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