Coal / FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy / Ohio Citizen Action / Ohio Consumers Power Alliance

Coal, nuclear cleanup costs central to FirstEnergy’s rejected bankruptcy plan

The General James M. Gavin coal plant in southeast Ohio (Credit: Analog Kid / Creative Commons).

“Some of the former plant sites run by FirstEnergy and its predecessors were ‘really dirty coal plants,’ said Dick Munson, who directs clean energy efforts in the Midwest for the Environmental Defense Fund. ‘Some also have coal ash ponds that are just things that you want to get cleaned up. Because if they leach into the water system, you not only have environmental but health problems.’

Storage of radioactive materials at the nuclear sites also raises concerns.

‘Nobody has ever solved the problem of the radioactive waste stored onsite, which brings additional risks to the workers, community and the environment,” said Rachael Belz, executive director at Ohio Citizen Action. She also disapproves of a plan to keep the nuclear plants running with state-mandated subsidies. ‘It’s ‘lipstick on a pig’ to talk only about carbon emissions, when these plants produce radioactive waste that nobody is making plans to remediate.’

The longer closure is delayed, the longer it will take before other economic development can move into communities near those plants, Munson added. ‘That leaves obviously the whole area where these reactors are like Superfund dead zones that can’t be redeveloped for ages,’ he said.”

— Kathiann Kowalski, Midwest Energy News 

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