Nuclear Power To Dominate Missouri's Energy Future?


The Callaway nuclear plant has been in operation since 1984 - Jefferson City News Tribune

The nuclear facility generates about 20 percent of Ameren Missouri's electricity for its 1.2 million customers.

Current Bill Before The 2020 Missouri Legislature:

Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act

Capitol Briefs: House perfects nuclear energy construction bill

The Missouri Times

A bill seeking to encourage nuclear power generation in Missouri is moving forward in the Senate after its passage in the House Tuesday. HB 261 / HCS/SS/SB 141. Sponsored by Rep. John Black, it would create the Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act, among a number of other far-reaching provisions. Briefly:

ENERGY CONNECTIONS:

The act bars local control over a utility service based upon the type or source of energy, such as natural gas, delivered to an individual customer.

RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS:

The Public Service Commission shall establish a process for gas corporations to fully recover any incurred costs that are prudent, just, and reasonable by means of an automatic adjustment clause.

NUCLEAR CLEAN POWER ACT:

The act also creates the Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act to enable the construction of clean baseload electric generating plants or facilities that utilize renewable sources to produce energy.

CONSTRUCTION WORK IN PROGRESS:

The law prohibiting an electrical corporation for recovering the costs of construction work in progress shall not apply to a clean baseload generating plant or a renewable source generating facility, as such terms are defined in the act.


CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINES / BLOCKING THE GREEN BELT EXPRESS :

Creates more obstacles before wind energy transmission - such as the Grain Belt Express - may operate in Missouri. This provision is concerning because -

- The increasingly urgent need for the clean, low cost, abundant wind power from the Great Plains states,

- In view of the past decade of blockades that the Grain Belt developers have already patiently, diligently, faithfully navigated.

- Throughout this same decade, China, Texas, Iowa, have been reaping the manifold benefits of wind power, creating thousands of high-paying jobs,

- Cutting the greenhouse gases causing deadly heat waves, megadroughts, massive fires, among other devastating climate disasters across the US and the world. China Takes The Lead In Wind (showmesolar.org)

RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES:

This act further dismantles the Renewable Energy Standard passed by an overwhelming two-thirds majority of Missouri voters, removing the requirement that hydropower have a nameplate rating of 10 megawatts or less.


Renewable energy plants would also be able to charge for construction costs before beginning operation. Possibly including repairs to existing hydropower such as the 90-year old Bagnell Dam, which created the Lake of the Ozarks in 1931.

FURTHER PROVISIONS allow further rate hikes to be imposed upon Missouri citizens without limit or recourse.

For example:

"The Public Service Commission may authorize an electrical corporation to make or demand charges for service based in whole or in part on additional amortizations to maintain the electrical corporation's financial ratios that will, in the Commission's judgment, better enable the electrical corporation to cost-effectively construct a clean baseload generating plant or a renewable source generating facility."

- This raises a number of questions and concerns and about who this legislation is intended to benefit? The benefit of Missouri’s citizens, environment, economy, agriculture, and other sectors as a whole should be the guiding principle, not exclusively the interests and profits of a few investor-owned utilities. The misconception here is that we cannot have both.


According to the Kansas City Star, energy transmission projects like Grain Belt Express are key to prevent Missouri outages such as those that caused by the massive Texas grid failure. Preventing these kinds of regional power supply crises is key to economic growth in our state.


"To prevent these further outages, we need increased energy transmission so infrastructure is in place when regional conditions require grid operators to import supply from other regions.


"The Missouri-approved Grain Belt Express high voltage direct current transmission line will provide this infrastructure. Because the 4,000-megawatt transmission line connects three regional power markets — the Southwest Power Pool, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and PJM Interconnection — the line will play a key role in avoiding future weather-related grid disruptions when its construction is complete. . .


"This makes attempts by some in the Missouri legislature to retroactively kill the already-approved Grain Belt Express project even more shortsighted. This project, which has asked for no state subsidies, will be one of the state’s largest energy infrastructure developments, creating 1,500 construction jobs, generating millions annually in new tax revenues for eight Missouri counties, and putting approximately $35 million in easement payments in the hands of landowners across the state. The line will provide power for at least 39 Missouri communities, saving $12 million annually for families and businesses. "

Grain Belt Express keeps electric power flowing in Missouri | The Kansas City Star


In contrast, as noted in The Center Square, under HB 261, costs of Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) could be passed onto retail customers of an electrical corporation in Missouri to finance nuclear power and construction projects. This would undo 1976’s Proposition C, a ballot measure approved by voters that prohibits power companies from making rate-payers subsidize “the costs of construction in progress upon any existing or new facility.”


Opponents on the floor Tuesday, led by Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis, argued HB 261 is not backed by Missouri’s investor-owned utilities and defies Republican free market ideology.

House set to adopt Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act | Missouri | thecentersquare.com

This is not to oppose the objective of IOUs to make a fair return for their vital services, keeping the power, lights, heat, and AC on. This can be achieved in a manner that is beneficial for everyone. Nuclear power, however, is a prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, dangerous diversion, destined to fail, dragging all and future generations down with it.

In contrast, rapid cost declines in renewable energy technologies made them the cheapest available sources of new electricity, even without subsidies, in 2017. And in many locations across America, building new wind energy projects is cheaper than running existing coal-fired power plants.



Renewable Electricity Levelized Cost Of Energy Already Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels, And Prices Keep Plunging - Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology

LCOE - Energy 101 - Renew Missouri



Cheaper Costs Drive Wind And Solar Installations


The changing cost dynamic between renewable energy and fossil fuel is underpinning surging wind and solar installations across the U.S. As the weighted Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) - Corporate Finance Institute for utility-scale solar fell from more than $350/MWh in 2009 to less than $50/MWh in 2017, cumulative installations rose from 1 GW in 2009 to more than 30 GW cumulative installed capacity.


As the LCOE of renewable energy continues to decline, building new wind and solar costs less than simply continuing to operate existing coal plants. Lazard reports the mean subsidized LCOE for utility-scale solar fell 72% from $178 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2009 to $50/MWh in 2017, while the mean LCOE for wind energy fell 47% from $85/MWh to $45/MWh over the same time span. These declines outstripped the cost trends for natural gas-combined cycle (down 27%), coal (down 8%), and nuclear (up 20%) from 2009 to 2017.

Renewable Electricity Levelized Cost Of Energy Already Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels, And Prices Keep Plunging - Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology



We Almost Lost Detroit | Kirkus Reviews

By John G. Fuller - October 13, 1975


This is the heaviest broadside against the Atomic Energy Commission in years, and it ought to find a wide audience. Fuller's argument is designed to rock his readers. It may seem like only another doomsday book (a Fuller specialty) but he makes use of AEC reports to show how a government agency's forked tongue can damn itself.


We now have 50 atomic reactors in the U.S. and half of them were closed down in the past year because of radiation leaks. AEC plans to have a thousand reactors pouring out energy by the year 2999, requiring 700,000 pounds of plutonium to fuel them. It takes only 1/30-millionth of an ounce of plutonium to kill you--and a particle of this new element has a hazardous life-span of 480,000 years.


What's worse, plutonium is erratic under any conditions, and Fuller describes four hair-raising incidents during which runaway melt nearly brought Hiroshima to Idaho, Canada, England and Detroit. All near-disasters resulted from faulty materials and instantly multiplying human errors.


Once a reactor goes amok, nobody knows what to do with it. Runaway melt, by the way, is when plutonium liquefies, and may either drop straight through the reactor bottom and head for China--or blow up. The AEC can't get its plants insured by any company on earth--no underwriter could handle the losses.



Indian Point Nuclear Point Shuts Down Today

Democracy Now - April 30, 2021

Indian Point Nuclear Point Shuts Down Today | Democracy Now! The Indian Point nuclear power plant is permanently shutting down today following decades of protests. The plant is located just 25 miles north of New York City. Decommissioning the plant is projected to take 12 years at a cost of over $2 billion.


The Missouri House and Senate are poised to vote on a bill that would lay the groundwork for a massive expansion of nuclear power. This far over-reaching “Nuclear Clean Energy Act” overturns the Renewable Energy Standards, passed by an overwhelming two-thirds of Missouri voters, to ensure that solar, wind, geothermal, energy storage, and energy efficiency be developed for the benefit of the entire state - Not exclusively for utilities exerting monopoly control over the necessities of life. Now the state is moving to force the public to make the doomed investment in nuclear reactors, that no financial institution would make.


Gone Fission: Controversial nuke plant near NYC shuts down - The Washington Post


Controversial nuclear plant near NYC shuts down | News | stltoday.com


Background on the Bill Sought by Ameren and Passed by the Legislature in 2018 -

https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-this-year-ameren-seeks-just-a-little-bit-of/article_87a8f736-bed0-52bd-ba24-6de8ecaed5c7.html

The cardinal problem with nuclear power is that it poses an even greater existential threat than climate change. While nuclear emits no CO2, it generates deadly radionuclides that persist in the environment even longer than greenhouse gases, and wreaking more havoc. Nuclear waste kills, mutates, and attacks living things with horrific diseases and disfigurement. No amount of safeguards can prevent the eventual release of these hazardous materials in perpetuity, bequeathing the devastating consequences to future generations. Nuclear power and the environment - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)


With First Native Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, Hope Grows U.S. Will Confront Toxic Uranium Legacy | Democracy Now!

Japan to Release 1 Million Metric Tons of Radioactive Water into Pacific Ocean | Democracy Now!

Chernobyl: The World's Worst Nuclear Disaster - Facts & Overview of Accidents - YouTube



От «несчастного случая» до катастрофы века - Союзное Вече (souzveche.ru) RENEWABLE ENERGY There is no place for nuclear power on earth. Which is exactly as it should be, because the cleanest, most powerful nuclear fusion plant is the sun. Missouri needs an energy design to generate power using the state's own most abundant energy resources - Solar, wind, geothermal, energy storage for baseload, and energy efficiency. Laws should provide for current and future energy needs with engineering, manufacturing, construction, and the most abundant energy resources right here in Missouri. The May 2021 study, Coal Cost Crossover 2021 by Energy Innovations, reports that due to rapid recent cost declines for wind and solar, the combined fuel, maintenance, and other costs of most existing coal-fired power plants are now higher than the all-in costs of new wind or solar projects. In 2021, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) reports that more than half of the coal fleet could be retired economically with wind and solar replacement. RMI also makes a strong case that the rest of the fleet probably could be economically replaced by clean energy portfolios of wind, solar, storage, and demand-side management if utilities adopt best practices for competitive procurement. The CEO of NextEra Energy, who manages the country’s largest electricity utility by market value, announced on a recent conference call with analysts that “[t]here is not a regulated coal plant in this country that is economic today...when it’s dispatched on any basis, not a single one.” Morgan Stanley predicts that U.S. coal will retire by 2033, largely replaced by least-cost wind, solar, and batteries. Coal-Cost-Crossover-2.0.pdf (energyinnovation.org)

Net-zero by 2050 The NZE2050 “case”, describing a route to 1.5C . . . along with the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on 1.5C in 2018 – have been accompanied by a significant uptick in coverage of these topics in the WEO. Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA – Carbon Brief


Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA

Study Predicts “Rapid and Unstoppable” Sea Level Rise Unless Paris Climate Goals Are Met | Democracy Now!

Enchanting Film About Life In The Oceans: The Great Barrier Reef: Our Ocean's Dying Paradise | Great Barrier Reef | Real Wild - YouTube - (50:33)

The Great Barrier Reef Is Dying

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/since-2016-half-the-coral-in-the-great-barrier-reef-has-perished/558302/




The Largest Environmental Film Festival Just Went Virtual

Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification - YouTube (21:34)


Acid Test - The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification

The Largest Environmental Film Festival Just Went Virtual | Sierra Club

Click here to check out available films and how to access them.



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