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Say yes to subsidy for nuclear plants

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

If we say yes to nuclear plants, we say yes to New Jersey’s fuel diversity, which is necessary to protect the reliable, affordable flow of energy that residents and businesses depend on. Nuclear plants in New Jersey produce nearly 50 percent of the electricity generated in the state, but 97 percent of the energy that is free of air pollution.

The recent cold snap – without the sun and wind to generate sufficient power – demonstrates the need for a diverse portfolio of fuels. Renewables alone are not viable as a replacement to nuclear.

Solar is a relatively young industry that, for now, cannot meet New Jersey’s 24/7 energy demands (solar currently provides less than 2 percent of the energy generated in the state). The technologies would require expensive battery storage solutions for periods when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow.

The replacement power from shutting down the nuclear plants would come from coal plants in Pennsylvania and new gas plants in New Jersey. Both options would increase your electric bill and increase emissions/pollutants (equal to putting three million more cars on the road) for New Jersey; not to mention the negative impact on the south Jersey economy and the overall New Jersey economy.

Saying yes to nuclear plants would preserve 1,600 jobs and it would save 1,000 outage contractors and thousands more jobs in the communities that support the nuclear plants and serve their workforce.

Nuclear is an important bridge to the future when renewables and storage are more technologically and economically feasible. With market pressures from low natural gas prices, it is important to continue the subsidies for solar at $220/MW and the proposed $10/MW for nuclear.

Today the choice is very clear. It is cheaper to preserve New Jersey’s existing nuclear fleet than any other alternative. Say yes to the subsidy for PSE&G Power nuclear plants.

John Brady
Freehold Township

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