FirstEnergy’s announcement that they are planning to close the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station and Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio and the Beaver Valley Power Station in Pennsylvania should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers around the challenges facing nuclear plants across the country and the urgent need for solutions to ensure their continued operation. The reality is that nuclear plants provide carbon-free, reliable power and help contribute to state and local economies. These facilities operate around the clock, ensuring a strong, resilient electric grid that can continue to provide electricity during significant weather events.
The announcement of these closures is just the latest in an alarming trend of premature nuclear plant shutterings, with eight more reactors slated to close by 2025 unless actions are taken at the state and federal level to properly value the contributions of nuclear energy. Recent plant closures have had highly negative effects on local communities, including job losses, hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic impact, severely reduced tax payments – harming school systems and public services – and have led to increased pollution levels as these plants are replaced by higher-emitting generation sources.
In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Davis-Besse, Beaver Valley and Perry nuclear facilities provide 4,048 megawatts of safe, reliable, carbon-free energy and are a bedrock of their communities, contributing $540 million in taxes throughout their operation and collectively employing roughly 2,300 people. If these facilities are allowed to close as scheduled, there will be a lasting negative impact at both the local level and for power customers across the region.