How nuclear power will impact NJ’s clean energy future

Salem Nuclear Power Plant

TOM JOHNSON / NJ SPOTLIGHT – One of the big unanswered policy questions as state officials finalize a new energy master plan (EMP) is how big a factor nuclear power will play in meeting New Jersey’s future energy needs.

It is an issue that sparked widely varying views in written comments to the state Board of Public Utilities, stoking much interest among stakeholders based on the BPU consultant’s projections that New Jersey’s three nuclear plants may continue operating beyond their current permits, which begin to expire in 2036.

The plants, operated by a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G), now provide about 90% of the carbon-free electricity in the state. Beginning this past April, utility customers began paying roughly $300 million in annual subsidies to avert the units’ closing. Its owner claimed the units are no longer economically competitive in a market flooded by cheap natural gas …

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