Nuclear energy plant can't compete
October 23, 2012 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Dominion Energy - unable to sell its 556MW Kewaunee nuclear plant in Wisconsin, with a license good 'til 2033 - plans to shut it down and decommission it. "This decision was based purely on economics": low electricity prices in the Midwest.
posted by Twang (7 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is an interesting topic which is not really served by a single link press release about it. Maybe make this post differently? -- jessamyn

I can't tell by the press release you linked to (why just a PR, by the way?) if it's closing because it was actually a drain on the company or if it just wasn't profitable enough. Any idea?
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 AM on October 23, 2012

posted by mr_roboto at 9:47 AM on October 23, 2012

The economics of Nuclear energy are awfully particular and, absent some other information, there really isn't any reason to doubt the awfully plausible statement by Dominion that a Nuclear plant in that region of Wisconsin simply isn't needed.

In plain terms, unlike other forms of energy, you cant really turn off nuclear power to save money. Thus, for example, in Belgium where nuclear power dominates other forms, we have wild excesses of energy at night we can't do anything else with - this is why Belgium lights the fuck up at night. There are also insane kinds of initiatives where water is pumped up at night to hydroelectrically recapture that power during the day.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:47 AM on October 23, 2012

Too Cheap To Meter!
posted by Floydd at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2012

This is in contrast to other forms of power like wind and solar that are only available sometimes and unpredictably. A sensible power grid uses a diversity of forms of energy so that different kinds can suppliment each other's weaknesses.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2012

Probably has something to do with just how much natural gas we're burning these days. In fact, we're burning so much natural gas that our carbon footprint as a country has declined for the first time since we started caring.

I was going to argue that the decommissioning was wasteful in the long term because this will probably be restarted, but entombment is not the only means of decommissioning around. You learn something every day.
posted by Hactar at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2012

It was probably profitable. Just not profitable enough.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:50 AM on October 23, 2012

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