State Legislature should reject nuclear industry operating subsidies

Syracuse Post-Standard letter

March 31, 2017

To the Editor:

Once upon a time, Entergy officially informed the State that it would close its Fitzpatrick nuclear plant because it was old, at its end-of-life, and no-longer profitable. The State said fine. But special-interest pressure moved the State to reverse course and provide subsidies.

Not only was Fitzpatrick's end-of-life condition forgotten, the State's proposed subsidies are hugely greater than what is needed to keep the plant open. How can one tell? Simple: before the subsidies, Fitzpatrick was claimed unprofitable and scheduled for decommissioning (no value); with the new subsidies, it has become not only profitable enough to stay open, but so profitable that Excelon is willing to pay a $110 million premium to take it over. A windfall for Entergy. How the subsidies were able to magically rejuvenate the plant, rewinding its age from end-of-life, remains a mystery.

Since Entergy claimed Fitzpatrick is at its end-of-life, the plant should be decommissioned. The community will be hit. However the decommissioning process is very slow, and much employment will remain for 5-10 years, so there is time to adapt. Furthermore, The owner and the State should subsidize the community for a time to ease the community's economic transition. I urge the State Legislature to reject nuclear industry operating subsidies and instead support Fitzpatrick decommissioning.

Carlo Moneti