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Half of nation’s clean energy comes from nuclear. But new nuclear looks very, very expensive


A Colorado legislative committee is scheduled on Jan. 24 to take up a proposal to classify nuclear energy as a clean resource

The bill submitted by Sen. Larry Liston, a Republican from El Paso County, proposes to add nuclear to the list of clean energy resources previously reserved to biomass, geothermal, solar, small hydroelectricity, and wind – as well as hydrogen derived from these.

Liston’s bill, SB24-039, points out that nuclear currently provides half of the carbon-free electricity in the United States, and that nuclear energy has a capacity factor that is 2 to 3 times higher than wind energy and 4 to 5 times higher than solar energy. Capacity factor is a measure of how much of the time the plant is operating at full power.

This higher capacity factory – sometimes called baseload – will allow it to integrate with “weather-dependent and seasonally variable wind and solar generation, mitigating the potential for brownouts and blackouts in Colorado.”

The bill speaks to ‘’high-quality and high-paying jobs” that nuclear can deliver and to the piggybacking Colorado can achieve with federal funding with this reclassification.

The bill has no co-sponsors from either party, which suggests it has a short life.

See also: Nuclear is on the table in Colorado.


Allen Best
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