Despite delivering enormous national economic, environmental and social benefits, plus massive support to the communities and states where they operate, nuclear energy plants face dangerous and challenging financial headwinds. These are largely brought on by the unintended consequences of market structure and government policies, not by nuclear energy’s fundamental business model.
This combination of economic and policy factors has already proved fatal for two nuclear plants, Vermont Yankee and Kewaunee, in Wisconsin. Both were operating at greater than 90 percent capacity before they prematurely closed down, and their closures continue to have negative impacts on their surrounding communities. For example, New England’s carbon output increased by 1.3 billion pounds in the two months following Vermont Yankee’s closure.