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Nuclear Facilities Essential for Electricity Diversity

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WASHINGTON, July 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IHS Energy, a global information company, has released a new study that concludes diversity of fuels and technology in the U.S. electricity portfolio is "fundamental to a properly functioning electricity system." The study, titled "The Value of US Power Supply Diversity," finds, however, that the United States is moving toward a "significant reduction" of diversity in its electricity mix. Following is a statement from Richard Myers, the Nuclear Energy Institute's vice president for policy development, on the implications of the study's findings on future electricity planning.

"The IHS Energy study is a resounding wake-up call for improved and integrated energy policies and electricity market designs. It confirms that a mix of different fuels and technologies produces the most affordable and reliable electricity supply for consumers. The study also confirms that nuclear energy has a vital role to play in strengthening America's electricity diversity for the benefit of consumers and the economy.

"The study's findings on the impact of reduced fuel and technology diversity are stunning. IHS Energy found that continuing shutdowns of America's baseload nuclear and coal generating assets and the resulting overreliance on natural gas and intermittent power supplies such as wind and solar would drive down the U.S. gross domestic product by nearly $200 billion, increase wholesale and retail electricity prices 75 percent and 25 percent respectively, and cause the loss of approximately one million jobs. It also would degrade electricity reliability for consumers. Clearly, that is not the way we should be developing the grid for future generations.

"Already evident—but still alarming to see in the report—is the conclusion that America already is on a path toward a significant reduction in electricity supply diversity. Much of our nation's 24/7 baseload supply capacity is at risk, including some nuclear energy facilities in competitive markets. Nuclear energy is an important baseload source of electricity capable of producing electricity more reliably than other options. For more than half the states, nuclear energy is their largest source of carbon-free electricity. Our nation needs to maintain and expand the number of nuclear energy facilities in operation to achieve its economic and environmental goals.

"The Nuclear Energy Institute urges policymakers and other opinion leaders to heed the conclusions in this report. We stand ready to work with federal, state and local officials to help ensure a diverse, stronger electricity future for our nation."

The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org.

CONTACT: NEI's media relations staff media@nei.org 202.739.8000 during business hours 703.644.8805 after hours and weekends

Source:Nuclear Energy Institute