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STATEMENT: WRI Welcomes UCS Report on Nuclear Power Plants

WASHINGTON (November 8, 2018) —The Union of Concerned Scientists today released The Nuclear Power Dilemma, an important new analysis showing that more than one-fifth of existing nuclear power capacity in the United States is either already scheduled to close or is unprofitable given current market conditions.

Following is a statement from Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute:

“The Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization with a long history of careful research on both climate change and nuclear safety, has done a great service by publishing a fact-based analysis of the risks of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from early retirement of nuclear power plants due in part to the failure of U.S. energy markets to reflect the cost of carbon pollution. The analysis shows how early retirement of these plants would lead to increased electricity generation from coal and natural gas plants, driving up carbon dioxide emissions. The UCS report properly urges adoption of strong federal and state policies that support all low-carbon technologies.

“The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes it crystal clear that climate change is already destroying lives and jobs, especially among the poor. The IPCC report is clear that at this time of great urgency we need to use all instruments at our disposal to address the scourge of climate change: renewables, increased efficiency, nuclear, carbon capture and storage, and carbon removal. Establishing a national price on carbon pollution is the best way to ensure that all non-emitting electricity sources can compete fairly with conventional coal- and gas-fired power plants, which effectively receive heavy subsidies. Placing a price on carbon would enhance our economy, and benefit our health and well-being today and for generations to come. With sharply declining costs of renewable energy, delaying closures of nuclear plants would also increase the chance that they would be replaced by renewable sources.”

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