US nuclear plants ‘facing early retirement’

More than three dozen nuclear reactors in the United States are at risk of early retirement, claims an American researcher. The warning follows the news a number of US reactors […]

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By Vicky Ellis

More than three dozen nuclear reactors in the United States are at risk of early retirement, claims an American researcher.

The warning follows the news a number of US reactors are closing before the end of their shelf life including California’s San Onofre reactor (pictured).

Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis at Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment believes these early retirements have sent “shock waves” through the industry and Wall Street.

His review of the remaining US fleet suggests 38 reactors in 23 states are at risk of early retirement, with 12 facing the greatest risk of being shut down.

Dr Cooper said: “With little chance that the cost of new reactors will become competitive with low carbon alternatives in the time frame relevant for old reactor retirement decisions, we need to start preparing now for more early retirements or the threats of such retirements.”