skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Nuclear power and the allocation of emissions allowances: a new hampshire case study

Abstract

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative's model rule allows states to allocate carbon allowances to nuclear power plants. New Hampshire's 2003 decision to include nuclear uprates in its NO{sub x} allocations represents a relevant precedent. (author)

Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20880631
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Electricity Journal; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; NEW HAMPSHIRE; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; NITROGEN OXIDES; ENERGY POLICY; ALLOCATIONS; CARBON; EMISSIONS TRADING; GREENHOUSE GASES

Citation Formats

Space, William. Nuclear power and the allocation of emissions allowances: a new hampshire case study. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/J.TEJ.2007.02.003.
Space, William. Nuclear power and the allocation of emissions allowances: a new hampshire case study. United States. doi:10.1016/J.TEJ.2007.02.003.
Space, William. Sun . "Nuclear power and the allocation of emissions allowances: a new hampshire case study". United States. doi:10.1016/J.TEJ.2007.02.003.
@article{osti_20880631,
title = {Nuclear power and the allocation of emissions allowances: a new hampshire case study},
author = {Space, William},
abstractNote = {The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative's model rule allows states to allocate carbon allowances to nuclear power plants. New Hampshire's 2003 decision to include nuclear uprates in its NO{sub x} allocations represents a relevant precedent. (author)},
doi = {10.1016/J.TEJ.2007.02.003},
journal = {Electricity Journal},
number = 3,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • An adjudicatory hearing to determine the potential adverse effects of the carcinogenic and mutagenic emissions from a diesel power plant at Harvard University was conducted by the Massachusetts environmental agency. Emissions from the plant were characterized through monitoring of fine particles, soluble organic extract and 11 indicator compounds, and comparing them with automotive diesel emissions. Quantitative risk assessment included assessment of the facility's contribution to ambient background and a comparison with emissions from mobile sources. The aggregate risk of cancer associated with 40 years of plant operation was estimated to range between 0 and 4 per 1.66 million people exposed.more » In 1986 the plant was permitted to operate on the grounds that the risks were not unreasonable. The significance of the decision extends beyond this one case; 1) in its decision the agency focused only on public health issues and disregarded all other social and economic costs or benefits; 2) the agency rejected a zero risk standard for carcinogens by explicitly accepting a small but non-negligible risk as reasonable; 3) the agency did not define an absolute standard of risk acceptability and, therefore, implicitly recognized the attendant uncertainty. The case also illustrates a strong subjective component present in all risk assessments.« less
  • Our almost forty-year experience with landmark federal environmental statutes, demonstrates unequivocally that implementing grand and noble environmental goals is an arduous and difficult experience. California is now embarking on a similar project: implementing the country's most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions limitations, including rolling back the state's emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The state's leadership on climate change legislation deserves significant praise. But the hard work in actually achieving emissions limits is just beginning. In this Essay, Professor Ann Carlson provides a case study of the country's largest municipally owned utility - the Los Angeles Department of Water and Powermore » (DWP) - and the challenges it will face in holding its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The case study is particularly useful to anticipate challenges utilities across the country will face if the federal government also mandates greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The DWP's energy mix, with its heavy reliance on coal, looks quite similar to the energy mix of the country as a whole (and quite different from the rest of California's electricity market). The challenges are daunting. They include shifting rapidly to renewable energy sources in the face of labor pressures to have DWP own its own sources; building miles of transmission lines to bring the renewable energy to DWP's customer base; repowering natural gas facilities while attempting to comply with stringent Clean Water Act requirements; and eliminating the utility's reliance on coal over the next two decades. These efforts will raise complex environmental and other value clashes, pitting those concerned about jobs, water pollution, species protection, and aesthetic harms against a utility admirably committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions significantly. Whether and how we resolve these clashes remains an open and contested question.« less
  • On January 11, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final comprehensive rule on acid rain in the Federal Register, directing that sulfur dioxide (SO[sub 2]) emissions reductions are to occur in two phases. On March 5, the EPA issued its final rule allocating emissions allowances for use after 2000, a rule intended to facilitate pollution reduction by putting into effect the emissions allowance trading system created by the Clean Air act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA). The flurry of activity that followed these rules is not surprising, although the direction of some of that activity is.
  • Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 allow for trading of allowances for SO[sub 2] emissions. For this process to be efficient and to achieve the goal of reducing emissions by 10 million tons from 1980 levels, a freely functioning market in allowance trading needs to exist. This market could be threatened by some state regulations that require utilities to obtain prior approval from state commissions before selling property. There are several solutions for state regulators to employ to avoid inadvertently interfering with the allowance trading market. This article describes some of those possible solutions.