Point Beach owner seeks to run Wisconsin’s last nuclear plant for 80 years | Science & Environment

The NRC has approved just two plants to operate for 80 years: Pennsylvania’s Peach Bottom and Florida’s Turkey Point, also owned by NextEra. The agency is considering applications from two other plants.

An NRC spokesperson said the license application is being reviewed for sensitive information and would be made publicly available in the coming weeks.

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Hundreds of casks of nuclear waste are being stored at sites across Wisconsin and neighboring states, costing taxpayers millions of dollars as the federal government struggles to open a permanent storage facility.

Built by Wisconsin Electric Power Company, Point Beach’s reactors began commercial operation in 1970 and 1972. We Energies sold the plant in 2007 for $924 million and entered into a contract to purchase most of its output.

Under the agreement, the utility is paying $52.66 per megawatt-hour this year, about 1.8 times the average wholesale price for electricity in the Midwest, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. By 2023, the cost rises to $122.45 per megawatt hour.

The utility has agreed to work with consumer advocates and regulators to review the contract, which it cited earlier this year as the driving factor for a rate increase.

Brendan Conway, a spokesman for WEC Energy Group, said customers have benefited from the sale of the plant, and its output helps meet more than a third of We Energies’ load and is a key component in the company’s plans to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

“Without the Point Beach plant, carbon emissions in Wisconsin would be significantly higher,” Conway said.

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