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Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim Included Among Major Infrastructure Needs in New England Report

The New England Council, a non-partisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout all of New England has issued a report supporting continued operation of the area’s four nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim. The report explores the most important issues affecting the region to secure a firm foothold in the 21st century U.S. economy. Formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region, the NEC was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest regional business organization.

The report, titled Smart Infrastructure in New England: An investment in growth and prosperity, defines “the what and how of building and maintaining the infrastructure New England needs to accelerate economic growth.” Infrastructure, the report says, is “more important — and more complex — than ever, linking products, services, people, ideas, and skills by using new strategies and technologies that work better and cost less.”

The report cites the need to maintain the nuclear sites first among five improvement opportunities.

“New England relies heavily on nuclear power,” the report stresses with “the region’s four nuclear power facilities, generating 30 percent of its electric energy. Nuclear energy is the only local fuel source and plays a big role in maintaining fuel diversity. Just as important (is the fact that) low operating costs make nuclear power an economical choice. Prices would likely rise if a current plant were decommissioned. This is the economic rationale for keeping nuclear facilities operating.”

The report also emphasizes that “nuclear energy plays an important role in attaining greenhouse gas reduction goals. Nuclear energy complies with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which sets a cap on CO2 emissions. RGGI covers all New England states. As national and state governments pass additional legislation limiting greenhouse gases, energy leaders will look for energy sources that play an important role in compliance. If nuclear power plants were closed, new sources of energy would need to be emission-free to continue to meet emissions standards.”

The New England Council counts among its members a diverse group of over 400 companies and organizations from all six New England states, including AT&T, Microsoft Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Harbor Island Alliance, BNY Mellon, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Google, IBM Corporation, Cisco Systems, Citizens Bank, TD Bank, UPS, Northeast Utilities, Boston Medical Center, Harvard University, Keene State College, Dartmouth, Boston University, University of Mass., Saint Anselm, National Association of Government Employees, and many others.