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Retired coal plants can aid the energy transition — by going nuclear

Zion Lights writes in Freethink about the role that coal plants and nuclear power can play in reducing global emissions.

The C3 Take
  • Coal plant retirements and increasing load demand in the U.S. are hampering grid reliability.
  • Reliable, carbon-free nuclear power could play a larger role in the energy mix, but utilities, governments, and consumers are wary of high upfront costs and slow buildouts.
  • One potential solution to these problems is building nuclear power plants on the site of retiring coal sites.
  • A recent Department of Energy study found that 80% of the nation’s retiring coal plants have the infrastructure and transmission needed to house a nuclear power plant.

“This coal-to-nuclear (C2N) transition could save millions of dollars by using existing land, reusing the coal plant’s equipment and infrastructure, such as transmission lines and switchyards, cooling ponds or towers, and civil infrastructure, such as roads and office buildings. This is also better environmentally in terms of land use since new land isn’t needed to create a power plant site, and existing sites already have transport avenues in place for construction and commuting purposes (i.e., roads).”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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