Griffo urges immediate implementation of nuclear tier of the Clean Energy Standard

Griffo (2)State Senator Joseph Griffo, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, on Wednesday emphasized the need for the immediate implementation of the portion of the Clean Energy Standard that relates to nuclear facilities.

Expeditiously establishing the nuclear tier of the Clean Energy Standard (CES) would ensure that New York’s fleet of nuclear facilities remains viable by recognizing their clean energy contributions, Senator Griffo said.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, New York State has excelled in the energy sector by reducing emissions from power plants, increasing our renewable power generation and improving our overall clean energy footprint, Senator Griffo explained. Therefore, New York is well-positioned to meet the goals of the proposed federal Clean Power Plan by continuing to improve upon that success.

During the past six months, industry and government stakeholders have provided their expertise in the discussions and analysis necessary to establish a Clean Energy Standard in New York, Senator Griffo said. This proposed standard would recognize nuclear generation for its energy contributions that include: no carbon generation, 24/7 operation, reliability, fuel diversity and full-time operating capacity factors that exceed 90 percent.

Senator Griffo (R-C-I, Rome) said: “There are many opinions about how best to go forward with the broader Clean Energy Standard and, in particular, how to do so in the most cost-effective way for consumers. We need to slow down and evaluate the full CES more carefully in order to reach our goals while protecting ratepayers. But it’s fair to say there is one thing everyone agrees on, and that’s the pressing need to make sure that our nuclear fleet does not retire prematurely due to current economic conditions in the energy sector.”

According to the Public Service Commission (PSC), such an outcome would have catastrophic effects on the environment, such as backtracking on greenhouse gases, loss of fuel diversity and base-load generation in the energy market. Shuttering these facilities would also severely impact the economy of New York State, particularly the hundreds of jobs supported by nuclear generators in Upstate New York, Griffo added.

Senator Griffo said, “The Clean Energy Standard has much potential to further diversify our energy portfolio. But, our upstate nuclear generators won’t be willing to invest millions of dollars into their operations unless they are confident the CES proposal will recognize their important contributions to clean energy, along with the hundreds of jobs and price stability they provide.”

Senator Griffo was joined by several legislators that host nuclear generators in their districts, such as Fitzpatrick, Ginna and Nine Mile, as well as stakeholders in the industry, in advocating for an expeditious implementation of the nuclear portion of CES, called “Tier 3.”

1 comment to Griffo urges immediate implementation of nuclear tier of the Clean Energy Standard

  • Crabbie Appleton

    Nuclear power is plagued by cost overruns, renewable energy, age, and lack of disposal measures for radioactive waste. Nuclear power is not the answer to climate change by its own faulty designs.

    DOE cancelled Yucca Mountain in 2009, and WIPP is still shutdown, leaving no place for the US federal government to dispose of nuclear waste.

    There is a taxpayer lack of trust in U.S. Department of Energy, the members of Congress, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and its agencies ability to perform national cleanup measures on spent nuclear fuel, radioactive leaks, and high-level nuclear waste sites across America. These sites include locations from Hanford Site WA, to Red Wing, Minnesota along the Mississippi River, adjacent to the Prairie Island Indian Community reservation.

    Reducing these risks is an enormous step. Nuclear science, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear waste storage is a long-term hazardous footprint, that is too costly now, and will remain too costly for the future.

    Look up the New York owned West Valley Demonstration Project. Radioactive waste left behind after the abandonment of a commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. Despite over 30 years of cleanup efforts and billions of dollars having been spent at the site, the West Valley Demonstration Project property was described as “arguably Western New York’s most toxic location” in 2013.

    Chief among these was the discovery, in 1993, of a plume of highly radioactive groundwater containing strontium-90 and other contaminants—originating from a leak within the Main Process Building—which continues to migrate and widen today.

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