Former EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner, Former Senator Judd Gregg Join Local Stakeholders to Emphasize Value of Ohio’s Nuclear Plants

Nuclear Matters Event at Davis-Besse Highlights Broad, Bipartisan Support for Existing Nuclear Energy Plants in the State

OAK HARBOR, Ohio--()--Nuclear Matters hosted an event at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station today that convened a diverse and bipartisan set of stakeholders supporting continued operation of Ohio’s existing nuclear energy plants. Nuclear Matters Leadership Council members, including former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol M. Browner and former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), joined Larry Tscherne, business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 245, and James H. Lash, president of FirstEnergy Generation, to discuss the beneficial jobs, economic growth opportunities, and carbon-free electricity provided by the state’s nuclear plants. The discussion was moderated by Dana Saucier Jr., senior director of JobsOhio.

“The continued operation of these economic heavyweights ensures the state’s economic security and prosperity.”

“For states like Ohio, existing nuclear facilities are an important source of carbon free energy. The existing nuclear plants have an integral role to play in the state’s energy mix especially as we take steps to cut carbon pollution and support carbon free sources of energy,” said Browner.

“The economic contributions of the existing nuclear plants in Ohio cannot be overlooked. They provide jobs, contribute significantly to state and local tax bases, practice charitable giving in the communities in which they operate, and purchase materials, goods and services from Ohio-based companies,” said Gregg. “The continued operation of these economic heavyweights ensures the state’s economic security and prosperity.”

“Ohio’s nuclear energy industry has a significant role to play in the creation and maintenance of well-paying jobs, and at IBEW Local 245, our priority is to ensure the reliable and safe operation of Ohio’s nuclear plants for the sake of their employees and the surrounding communities,” said Tscherne. “As we consider the value of nuclear energy in our state, let us remember that these existing plants bolster our workforce and contribute greatly to the economic prosperity of our citizens.”

Panelists Browner, Gregg, Tscherne and Lash drew attention to the fact that Ohio’s nuclear energy plants account for an overwhelming 90 percent of the state’s carbon-free power while employing more than 1,420 highly skilled workers and paying more than $24 million in state and local taxes. Based on national averages, each of Ohio’s two reactors has a payroll of about $40 million and contributes $470 million to the local economy.

The group also noted that nuclear energy is unmatched in its ability to generate “always-on,” baseload electricity, even in times of extreme weather such as the arctic temperatures experienced in early January 2015. During that period, 32 of the region’s 33 nuclear power plants, including Ohio’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, operated at full capacity. These facilities provided about 35,000 megawatts of generating capacity to help meet a regional demand of about 127,000 megawatts on January 8, one of the coldest days of 2015 thus far.

Additionally, they discussed how Ohio’s nuclear plants prevent the emission of more than 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually, equal to what would be released in a year by nearly 2.9 million passenger cars, more than half the registered cars in the state.

The group of stakeholders discussed how, despite their many benefits, nuclear plants in Ohio and across the nation are faced with challenges caused by a confluence of economic pressure and policy factors. They discussed potential solutions to ensure the continued operation of nuclear plants in Ohio and throughout the United States.

This event is part of a series of discussions that Nuclear Matters will continue to participate in and host throughout the country as the campaign focuses on the challenges facing America’s existing nuclear energy fleet.

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About Nuclear Matters

The mission of Nuclear Matters is to inform the public about the clear benefits that nuclear energy provides to our nation, to raise awareness of the economic challenges to nuclear energy that threaten those benefits, and to work with stakeholders to explore possible policy solutions that properly value nuclear energy as a reliable, affordable and carbon-free electricity resource that is essential to America’s energy future.

Supporters of Nuclear Matters include a range of companies and organizations in the energy industry, including Ameren Missouri, American Nuclear Insurers, Arizona Public Service Company, AREVA, Black & Veatch, POWER Burns and Roe, Centrus Energy Corp. Dominion, Duke Energy, Energy Future Holdings Corporation, Energy Northwest, Entergy Corporation, Exelon Corporation, FirstEnergy Corp., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Lightbridge Corporation, Nebraska Public Power District, NextEra Energy Inc., Omaha Public Power District, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.


For Nuclear Matters:
Alexandra Meredith, 212-446-1887
Joe Germani, 212-446-1899