New Report: Closing Carbon-Free Nuclear Power Plants Would Produce Widespread Increases in Air Emissions in PA

On the eve of tomorrow’s meeting of Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Energy Caucus – which will focus on the environmental impacts of nuclear energy in Pennsylvania – comes this important new report from independent economic analysts at The Brattle Group. The report highlights how closing carbon-free nuclear power plants would produce widespread increases in air emissions in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. This updated data is a follow-up to Brattle’s April release of, “Impacts of Announced Nuclear Retirements in Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

As of right now, two of PA’s five nuclear generating stations are scheduled to prematurely close — TMI in 2019 and Beaver Valley in 2021. The report goes one step further and touches on what this could mean for Pennsylvania should all of our nuclear generating facilities close. The report concludes that if the nuclear facilities close, it would make it increasingly challenging for all states in the region, including Pennsylvania, to achieve NOx emissions reductions to address ozone nonattainment and its related health impacts. These results, in combination with the economic impact of nuclear plant closures, will have devastating impacts on these communities.

Three other key takeaways from the report include:

  • The loss of Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants would cause a 4,136-ton annual increase in the nonattainment areas of Pennsylvania, and result in an annual social cost of $24.6 million
  • Losing nuclear power plants would lead to greater fossil generation and increases in several air pollutants, including NOx, a precursor for ozone
  • Within the EPA-designated ozone nonattainment areas in the Mid-Atlantic region, the loss of regional nuclear plants could increase NOx emissions by 1,000 tons or more each year

If you are in the Harrisburg area and would like to attend tomorrow’s Nuclear Energy Caucus hearing, it begins at 8am in room 8E-B in the Capitol’s East Wing. Look for the Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania information table set up outside the hearing room!

NPP on the Road

Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania was in Philadelphia last week, to attend a special event hosted by NPP member, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Called Power Play: Solutions for Long-Term Energy Sustainability, the well-attended event featured a presentation by Exelon Corporation President & CEO Christopher Crane. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania representatives had an opportunity to interact with many attendees, sharing our message about the many attributes of nuclear energy and its positive impacts on our communities.