Nuclear Caucus Members Tour Beaver Valley before Hearing

Members of the Pennsylvania Bicameral Nuclear Caucus toured Beaver Valley. The tour included (l.-r.): Travis Gery, legal counsel/executive director for Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson (R-6); Rep. Jim Marshall (R-14); Rep. Judy Ward (R- 80); Dan Onuska, BV Maintenance; Rod Penfield, BV general plant manager; Dave Griffing, executive director, FES Government Affairs; Sen. Elder Vogel (R-47); Bill Ward; Mark Manoleras, director, BV Site Engineering; Rich Bologna, BV site vice president; Josh Konecheck, district director, Senator Vogel’s office; Rep. Rob Matzie (D-16); and Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-10).

June 27, 2018

Members of the Pennsylvania Bicameral Nuclear Caucus visited Beaver Valley on Friday, June 15. The group of state senators, representatives and aides toured the plant to get a firsthand look at operations prior to a caucus hearing held on Tuesday of this week. The caucus is studying the possibility of providing a means of market support for nuclear plants in Pennsylvania.

During the meeting, members of the caucus heard testimony on the impact of potential nuclear station deactivation on air quality in the Commonwealth. Testimony included support for assistance to nuclear plants from advocacy groups that traditionally have been at odds with nuclear power.

Prior to the hearing, a new report was issued by economic analysts The Brattle Group. Commissioned by Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, the report details the adverse environmental impact of closing carbon-free nuclear plants. The report elaborated on a previously released study that found nuclear retirements would reverse the emissions benefits of all the renewable generation developed in PJM over the last 25 years.

Among those supporting assistance to nuclear plants was the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a watchdog group that, in the past, has been critical of nuclear  generation. Steve Clemmer, UCS director of Energy Research & Analysis for Climate and Energy Policy, said in his testimony, “Clearly we need to prevent the early retirement of these nuclear plants or, from an emissions standpoint, we’re going to be in trouble.”

“These nuclear facilities are a source of carbon-free and particulate-free generation for Pennsylvania,” agreed Rama Zakaria, senior manager for Regulatory Policy & Analysis with the Environmental Defense Fund. “Nuclear is definitely a part of the solution.”

Read the study on the impact of nuclear plant closures, as well as the follow-up report released this week. You also can watch the entire Meeting to Discuss Impact of Nuclear Station Deactivations on Air Quality online.