From SNL Power Daily:

In contrast, a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based R Street Institute, Disciplined Policy Responses to Nuclear Retirements, dismissed calls for subsidies, re-regulation and other government policies to stem the tide of nuclear plant shutdowns as lacking “economic merit” and called warnings of ‘incredibly detrimental’ economic and environmental consequences of nuclear retirements “overblown.” Six reactors in the U.S. have closed in the past five years, with another 19 either slated to shut down or at risk of doing so before their operational licenses expire.

“To whatever extent market design fails to account for certain reliability attributes, that failure concerns reliability service procurement alone, not an inherent need to procure a certain type of fuel or technology,” said Devin Hartman, the report’s author and electricity policy manager for the R Street Institute, in a news release. “Any such failure should be corrected via market-design reforms, not out-of-market compensation. Furthermore, there is no evidence of an imminent threat to bulk reliability to justify interim subsidies.”

“The only legitimate concern that nuclear retirements are premature is that electricity markets do not fully account for the external ‘social cost’ of pollution,” the study said. “Excluding external ‘social cost’ considerations, nuclear retirements generally do not appear to be premature through a nominal economic lens. Rather, they are consistent with the underlying economics of baseload plants in the current market and regulatory environment.”

Hartman instead advocated “a consistent, market-based emissions-reduction policy, rather than the kinds of ad hoc climate policy we tend to see proposed by politicians and regulators.”

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