Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 15: An overview of zero emission credits for nuclear power plants in the United States
Zero emission credits (ZECs) are subsidies only to ageing nuclear power plants unable to compete in the marketplace due to low natural gas prices. State legislatures in Illinois and New York have approved up to $10 billion in ZECs subsidies over the next decade. Lawmakers contemplating enacting ZECs for ageing nuclear power plants unable to compete in the marketplace face contradictory information. Lawmakers cannot rely on contradictory conclusions when deciding on whether to enact ZECs. What lawmakers need to consider are the risks that enacting ZECs may exacerbate, by extending the operating life of nuclear power plants, nuclear meltdowns, cyberattacks, and terrorist attacks on nuclear waste. In light of these risks, extending the life of ageing nuclear power plants by enacting ZECs is irresponsible and shortsighted.
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