Report: U.S. nuclear has big impact on economy, environment

A report from The Brattle Group says the U.S. nuclear fleet has more of an economic and environmental impact on the nation than once thought before.
The report says nuclear power adds $60 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) annually and supports 475,000 direct and secondary jobs. The industry contributes $12.2 billion in federal and state taxes and avoids 573 million tons of carbon emissions each year, the report says.
The Brattle Group said it reached these values based on comparing the performance of the U.S. economy with and without the nuclear fleet.  The approach nets off the contribution of the alternative generation that would be necessary if the nuclear industry did not exist, since more natural gas- and coal-fired power plants would be used to make up the lost capacity. Increased use of fossil fuel generation would increase wholesale prices by 10 percent on average, retail would increase about 6 percent.
“This report stresses the need to address the underlying challenges associated with premature nuclear energy plant shutdowns to ensure that Americans can continue to reap the indisputable benefits that these plants bring to the table,” said Nuclear Matters co-chair, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). “The public and policymakers are seldom offered such starkly obvious public policy choices as working to ensure existing nuclear energy plants continue to operate.”
To read the full report, click here.
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