Brattle report, done for Nuclear Matters, outlines benefits of New York nuclear plants

September 14, 2015 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New York’s four nuclear energy plants contribute approximately $2.47 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), in addition to other economic and societal benefits, according to a new study conducted by economists at global consulting firm The Brattle Group.

The report estimates New York’s nuclear power plants’ contribution to the New York economy and to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Combined, the state’s six reactors – Entergy’s FitzPatrick in Scriba and Indian Point 2 & 3 in Buchanan, and Exelon’s Ginna in Ontario and Nine Mile Point 1 & 2 in Scriba – provide New York households and employers with over 5,000 megawatts (MW) of emissions-free electricity and nearly 42 million megawatt hours (MWh) of annual electricity generation. The research concludes that New York’s nuclear industry accounts for about 18,000 in-state full time jobs (direct and secondary) and provides $113 million in net state tax revenues annually. Average annual carbon dioxide emissions would be about 26 million tons greater absent the generation from these nuclear plants. This is worth an additional $1.12 billion annually if valued at the U.S. government’s estimate for the social cost of carbon. The plants are typically one of the largest employers, tax payers, and charitable contributors in their respective counties.

“The economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy are often undervalued in national and state energy policy discussions,” said Dr. Mark Berkman, co-author of the report and a principal at The Brattle Group. “It is even more critical to consider the significant value of U.S. nuclear plants in a landscape where several factors threaten some nuclear facilities and could diminish the industry’s contribution to our electricity supply, the economy, and the environment.”

“This report stresses the need to address the underlying challenges associated with premature nuclear energy plant shutdowns to ensure that Americans can continue to reap the indisputable benefits that these plants bring to the table,” said Nuclear Matters co-chair, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). “The public and policymakers are seldom offered such starkly obvious public policy choices as working to ensure existing nuclear energy plants continue to operate.”

“Reducing carbon emissions is one of our country’s top priorities,” stated Nuclear Matters co-chair, former Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN). “And yet, in this carbon-constrained world, existing nuclear energy plants receive no value for their ability to generate an astounding amount of carbon-free, reliable energy. The answer to one of our biggest environmental and economic challenges lies, in part, in nuclear energy. Without nuclear power, it would be impossible to achieve our carbon reduction objectives, including the administration’s recently finalized Clean Power Plan.”

Nuclear energy in New York also helps keep electricity prices lower than they would otherwise be. In fact, New York consumers would pay over $1.3 billion annually (in 2015 dollars) and over $11.3 billion in the next ten years (on a net present value basis) absent the state’s nuclear plants.

Nuclear energy provides almost 20 percent of the United States’ electricity and 33 percent of electricity in New York. However, some nuclear plants are at risk of premature shut-down due to economic and policy challenges.

The report estimates New York nuclear plants’ economic value using Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), a widely-used dynamic input-output model of the U.S. economy, linked with a simplified Brattle model of the U.S. electricity sector to better capture the dynamics of power markets and prices. By linking these models, the authors were able to measure the economic output, employment, and tax revenue in New York with and without its nuclear plants, providing the most accurate picture of their contribution to the economy.

New York Nuclear Power Plants’ Contribution to the State Economy” was prepared for Nuclear Matters by The Brattle Group.

A national report that estimates the value of the entire nuclear industry to the U.S. economy, “The Nuclear Industry’s Contribution to the U.S. Economy,” was released on July 7th. The national report concludes that the United States’ nuclear energy plants contribute $60 billion annually to national GDP, among other findings.

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 Engineers, 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.

About The Brattle Group

The Brattle Group analyzes complex economic, finance, and regulatory questions for corporations, law firms, and governments around the world. We are distinguished by the clarity of our insights and the credibility of our experts, which include leading international academics and industry specialists. For more information, please visit