Hand holding the silhouette of a nuclear power plant which is made up of green plant-like material

If Biden Can Support Keeping Nuclear Power Operating, Can Cooper?

Gov. Roy Cooper’s “Clean Energy Plan” includes what Donald van der Vaart called “a straightforward, categorical rejection of nuclear power.” It reads:

Going forward, new generating resources should be identified to replace the NPP’s [nuclear power plants’] existing capacity and generation even if the NRC extends their licenses (as desired by Duke Energy) for an additional twenty years. It is prudent to now begin looking for a nuclear generation replacement so that we can meet NC’s future baseload electric needs. (Emphasis added.)

As my research brief today explains, that paragraph is dangerous nonsense. There simply is no “nuclear generation replacement” that could “meet NC’s future baseload electric[ity] needs” without greatly increasing both electricity prices and energy emissions.

Any replacement of or combination to replace baseload nuclear power would result in more emissions and be less efficient and more expensive to boot. It would furthermore cause more instability on our electricity grid, which could also be dangerous.

Also, as my brief explains, Cooper is out of line with his own party leader on this. Bloomberg reported that Pres. Joe Biden’s administration has signaled their intention to keep nuclear power plants in operation amid “a wave of reactor closures.” Biden’s support owes to the environmental side of the issue, as nuclear power “is seen as a way of backing President Joe Biden’s ambitious climate goals.”

If Biden can support keeping nuclear power operative, can Cooper?

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...