Monday, October 22, 2012

Dominion to Shut Nuke Plant Because of Shale Gas

Dominion Resources announced today that it plans to close its 566 megawatt Kewaunee nuclear plant south of Green Bay, Wisconsin next year because of low natural gas prices caused by the abundance of shale gas.

While nuclear power is cheaper to produce than burning natural gas, nuclear plants periodically require significant capital investment.  Dominion is at the point with the Kewaunee plant where it must make that investment decision.  But the price of electricity in the region is cheap and because of abundant shale gas likely will remain that way for the foreseeable future.  Because Kewaunee is a smaller, standalone facility, the price of electricity didn't provide adequate payback and doesn't justify the investment.

The article linked above notes a handful of other nuclear plants that might be vulnerable to low electricity prices.

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