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Alec Baldwin tells APP: No nuclear power bailout in NJ via app

Gov. Phil Murphy has pledged an all-renewable energy future for New Jersey by 2050. He is to be commended.

But, that goal won’t be achieved by doling out $300 million annually to PSEG and Exelon to bail out the Salem/Hope Creek nukes in Salem County as proposed by a bill overwhelmingly approved by the Democratic-controlled New Jersey Legislature. Those millions would come from ordinary citizens paying their electric bil

That’s money that could otherwise be used to implement a clean energy future that would pull the state’s energy needs away from climate-changing fossil fuels and nuclear energy, which generates thousands of pounds of lethal, highly radioactive waste — the exact same mix of poisons found in atomic bombs.

I’m adding my voice to the chorus of outrage that has risen against this preposterous ratepayer-funded bailout. We know what this is about. It’s a shell game to guarantee an unfair 18-percent annual return to investors on the backs of ratepayers. And it’s New Jersey money that the companies could use to prop up their out-of-state nukes.

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I’ve been involved in issues related to reducing reliance on nuclear power since the late 1980s. I have a long association with the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP), a nonprofit research group that tracks cancer rates around nuclear plants. I have also immersed myself in studying the effects of exposure to continuous low-level radiation, the type of which is emitted from nuclear plants. 

An RPHP analysis of Centers for Disease Control data shows that before Salem/Hope Creek began operating, the cancer death rate in Salem County was slightly below the state average.  As late as the mid-1980s, the county rate was 5 percent below the state.  But since then, local rates have risen, and in the past decade, Salem county’s cancer death rate was 20 percent above the state  the highest rate of the 21 New Jersey counties.  While this area of the state has other significant environmental hazards and a federal Superfund site, the cumulative effects from routinely released toxic radiation must be evaluated as a potential cause.

[…]

Any bailout for the Salem/Hope Creek nuke plants must include an ironclad commitment for an early closure date, and a full decommissioning by plant workers once operations cease. This is fair and just; it places the public health and safety of citizens first, while securing long-term, well-paying employment for the workers who have the institutional intelligence to carry out the task of dismantling the reactor, and securing the highly radioactive waste that will remain deadly for tens of thousands of years.

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