|NEI VP Richard Myers|
Nuclear plants offer benefitsThis isn't the first time Richard has addressed this issue. Back in January, he took issue with a piece in the Wall Street Journal that concluded that the natural gas boomlet we're currently experiencing might undo nuclear energy. The key takeaway here: nothing is forever, and that goes double for natural gas prices.
The May 12 article "Levy nuclear plant more costly than a natural gas facility" fails to account for the economic and environmental benefits the two nuclear plants would bring to Florida. Progress Energy Florida, now Duke Energy Florida, determined in 2008 that the Levy nuclear plants would benefit the state by providing fuel diversity and price stability for consumers while avoiding air emissions.
In 2012, Florida generated 68 percent of its electricity from natural gas, a significant increase from 47 percent in 2008. Floridians may recall that in 2008 and 2009, the state endured its highest-ever electricity costs when natural gas prices were hitting all-time highs. Five years later, Florida relies even more on natural gas.
Just like a diversified financial portfolio is important for investors, so is a diversified energy portfolio for consumers. By relying ever more heavily on natural gas, Florida is putting itself in an increasingly vulnerable position if and when natural gas prices change.
Further, if natural gas plants are built instead of the two Levy nuclear plants, the gas plants will consume nearly 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and emit more than 500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 60 years.
The Levy nuclear plants will help Florida manage and balance any future that includes changes in carbon regulations and natural gas fuel costs, and an overreliance on any one form of electricity generation.
Richard Myers, vice president, Nuclear Energy Institute