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May 28, 2014

Nuclear Power Industry Should Be Denied New Subsidies

Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held a joint meeting today to discuss reliability and other issues, all in the shadow of an aggressive new campaign by the nuclear power industry to secure expensive new subsidies. Exelon and Entergy – two large owners of so-called merchant nuclear power plants – have embarked on a lobbying crusade to push Congress and regulators to approve expensive out-of-market payments to owners and operators of aging nuclear power plants. Exelon and Entergy claim that power prices in deregulated, FERC-jurisdictional markets are too low, rendering their expensive and aging nuclear power plants money losers. Based on statements by the nuclear power industry, the proposed market changes could result in billions of dollars in higher electric rates.

The NRC, FERC and Congress must reject this outrageous subsidy request by the nuclear power industry. Aging nuclear power plants have been eclipsed by superior, competing technologies. New support payments are not needed to maintain grid reliability.

Nuclear already is the most highly subsidized industry. Consumers do not need to shovel even more money to the nuclear power industry.

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