Saturday, August 9, 2014

EPA rule not a boon for nuclear

Details of the U.S. EPA's proposed scheme to reduce emissions from electricity generation are starting to be examined, and the regulations of the United States of America are looking like they are intended to do exactly what regulations written by Natural Resources Defense Council would be expected to - and it isn't to hit carbon targets business as usual looks likely to hit regardless.

EPA rule not such a boon for nuclear after all -- utilities
While the draft rule makes an effort to preserve at-risk nuclear, it merely assumes that new projects that are currently under way will go forward -- baking those reductions in to state targets for Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. Those states all have new nuclear facilities under construction and face tougher standards than are assigned to other states in their region -- 39 percent, 44 percent and 51 percent, respectively, by 2030. 
Diverse policy group. picture from New York Times
At a conference last week in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), Larry Monroe, Southern Co.'s senior vice president of research and environmental affairs, said his company thought it was positioning itself for easier compliance with eventual EPA greenhouse gas standards eight years ago when subsidiary Georgia Power partnered with other Georgia-based utilities on the nation's first new nuclear construction in three decades. 
Instead, EPA simply assigned Georgia a tougher standard that assumed those megawatt-hours were already available -- effectively not giving the state credit for bringing them online. But the state would still have to attain that target if the units were scuttled.
"It did not help us, it actually penalized the state of Georgia," he said."
Read Jean Chemnick's entire article

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