Rushing to Close NJ’s Nuclear Power Plants Could Be a Costly Mistake, According to Senior Advisor Susan Tierney
April 10, 2019
New Jersey is prioritizing renewable energy and energy efficiency under the state's recently enacted clean-energy law. However, solar and wind together account for just 8 percent of the power supply nationwide, and increasing their share in New Jersey will require significant time and financial resources.
In contrast, America’s nuclear plants already provide one-fifth of total electricity and nearly two-thirds of carbon-free power. In a recent op-ed for NJ.com, Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan F. Tierney states, "Nuclear plants operate around the clock, and provide needed electricity supply as entrepreneurs and investors discover new ways to meet consumers’ needs when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining, and as other carbon-free technologies emerge."
Tierney says it would be a costly mistake to shut down safely operating nuclear plants in New Jersey in the near term, as doing so would have impacts both on electricity bills and on the state’s goals of reducing air pollution. She notes that, while “over time, the current fleet of nuclear plants will certainly retire and need to be replaced with carbon-free generation,” rushing to close them now would add over 12 million tons of carbon a year to the atmosphere, equivalent to adding over 2.5 million more cars to the road.