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Nuclear Plants Should Participate in Carbon Credit Program, Industry Executives Say

NAPLES, FL—Nuclear power plants have been the pollution-solution to our nation’s clean air needs and should be included in market-based programs that provide economic value for carbon reductions, industry executives said today.

Nuclear power plants are the largest emission-free source of electricity in the United States and are responsible for 43 percent of voluntary carbon reductions by industry, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“It’s important that our country recognizes nuclear’s contribution to meeting our clean air goals and to reducing greenhouse emissions,” Donald Hintz, president of Entergy Corp., told more than 300 attendees at the Nuclear Energy Assembly. “And because pollution avoided is the exact same thing as pollution reduced, nuclear must have a seat at the table when it comes to emissions trading. That is only reasonable and fair, and it is in the best interest of all environmental stakeholders,” Hintz stated.

Hintz said that policymakers should consider “a broad new initiative to capture additional untapped value in the form of the clean air compliance value associated with emission-free generation. For our industry, it’s important that our companies strategically integrate environmental programs, emissions trading, and nuclear generation. Working with one another, and with environmental groups that want to see results, we can position ourselves as a solution to improving our environment while providing an essential product.”

FPL Group’s Lewis Hay opened the two-day annual meeting of the nuclear industry with an equally strong call to action on gaining recognition for clean air compliance benefits of nuclear energy.

“It’s important for our companies to receive credits for nuclear’s place in keeping greenhouse gas emissions down worldwide,” said Hay, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Juno Beach Fla.-based FPL Group Inc. “We need to redouble our efforts to communicate to people how important it is that power producers get credit for nuclear megawatts within any multi-pollutant emissions bill that’s acted on by Congress.”

FPL Group is the largest developer and operator of wind power in the nation and operates the largest solar fields in the world in California.

Nuclear energy avoids the emission of over 174 million tons of carbon, 2.4 million tons of nitrogen oxide and 5.1 million tons of sulfur dioxide each year. Nuclear power plants in 31 states, many in the Midwest and Northeast, have been essential in state programs to comply with reductions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides required by the Clean Air Act.

Hintz concluded: “It is time to write the next chapter for nuclear energy and the role it plays in the environment. A wise person once said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Today, the Bush Administration and growing numbers of political leaders and policymakers now recognize that a ton of pollution avoided is every bit as valuable and essential as a ton of pollution reduced.”


The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at