Nuclear power is here to stay in Minnesota

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Nuclear power is here to stay in Minnesota

January 7, 2018

The news has been increasingly bleak for U.S. nuclear power, replete with failed projects and proposed bailouts of unprofitable reactors.

In Minnesota, though, nuclear power is still a bedrock of the state’s electricity production, and it looks like it will stay that way until the 2030s.

For Xcel Energy, nuclear energy is critical to meeting its carbon reduction goals, particularly as it slowly jettisons its greenhouse-gas belching coal generators.

“Nuclear plays a huge role,” said Ben Fowke, CEO of Minneapolis-based Xcel, which owns the state’s three atomic power generators. “It will also increasingly play a major part in providing grid quality, which supports reliability.”

In other words, as Xcel in the 2020s moves from coal to wind and solar — which are inherently intermittent sources of electricity — nuclear will be a key source of “baseload,” or constant power.

“What we are advocating for is to run the [nuclear] plants to the end of their license life,” Fowke said. “We are not advocating for an early shutdown, and we are not advocating for life after 60 at this point.”

SOURCE:  St. Cloud Times

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