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Constellation Energy’s decision to cancel plans for a new nuclear reactor in Maryland is a victory for Marylanders and U.S. taxpayers.
On Saturday, Constellation walked away from plans for a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs after they deemed conditions on a $7.5 billion Department of Energy loan “unreasonably burdensome”. This decision reiterates that Constellation Energy was unwilling to assume the extraordinary financial risk involved in building a new nuclear reactor —they wanted taxpayers to take all of the risk for this reactor.
“Calvert Cliffs III was a Bridge-To-Nowhere project in the making. Thankfully Constellation pulled the plug before taxpayers and ratepayers took too big a hit,” says Maryland PIRG State Director Johanna Neumann.
Calvert Cliffs 3 would have cost an estimated $10 billion and taken at least 10 years to construct. Prototype reactors for Calvert Cliffs 3 in Finland and France have long been over budget and years behind schedule. Maryland PIRG opposed Constellation Energy’s merger last year with EDF, in which the French nuclear developer acquired 49.99 percent of Constellation's nuclear operation.
“Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize nuclear power when there are faster, cleaner and cheaper energy sources to power our economy,” said Johanna Neumann, State Director of Maryland PIRG.
Since 2006, Maryland PIRG and members of the Chesapeake Safe Energy Coalition have argued that a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs would increase the public health and environmental threat to Maryland, as well as impose a financial burden on the state’s taxpayers and potentially on electricity consumers. Advocates called for investments in energy efficiency and clean renewable sources of energy like wind and solar to move forward a clean energy future for Maryland.
“Calling off Calvert Cliffs 3 opens the door for Maryland to capitalize on real energy solutions like energy efficiency and wind and solar power. We hope Gov. O’Malley and members of the Public Service Commission move forward a proactive agenda to meet the state’s energy efficiency and clean energy goals,” said Neumann.
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