Forbes: Nuclear power is no longer a viable source of new energy in US, says Excelon CEO who retired just days earlier

Published: March 30th, 2012 at 2:43 pm ET


Title: Exelon’s ‘Nuclear Guy’: No New Nukes
Source: Forbes
Author: Jeff McMahon
Date: March 29, 2012

Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon, America’s largest producer of nuclear power, said in Chicago Thursday.

And it won’t become economically viable, he said, for the forseeable future. […]

[His] pessimism about nuclear power reinforces statements made by other nuclear experts since the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. […]

John Rowe, who retired 17 days ago as chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation (Operator of 22 nuclear power plants, more than any other utility in the US)

  • “Let me state unequivocably that I’ve never met a nuclear plant I didn’t like”
  • “Having said that, let me also state unequivocably that new ones don’t make any sense right now”
  • “I’m the nuclear guy and you won’t get better results with nuclear”
  • “It just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a foreseeable time frame”

Read the report here

Published: March 30th, 2012 at 2:43 pm ET


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43 comments to Forbes: Nuclear power is no longer a viable source of new energy in US, says Excelon CEO who retired just days earlier

  • Thanks for your definition of Troll Jousting!

    Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on

    It should appear on this page in the next few days:

    Urban Dictionary


    Troll Jousting

    Troll Jousting is the act of retorting comments on blogs that have been placed by trolls, or paid commentators who place comments to support a particular vested interest. The Troll Jouster places comments that show the falseness of the Troll

    Wow nice Troll Jousting dude, you really bitch slapped that Troll.

    Yeah, thanks eh brah! I couldn't believe that Pro Nuke Troll was actually saying that radiation can be beneficial to your health. I had to slap 'em back in case some innocent bystander saw that Troll comment and believed it.

    Well, good work dude, keep up the Troll jousting on that blog, and remember, there are NO innocent bystanders.

    • Mack Mack

      Congrats stock! Who says one person can't make a difference.

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        WHOOOOOHEEEEE!! WAY TO GO STOCK!! I"m so proud of you!!

        • Joust away!
          HP been sending more links to my blog, weird.
          new articles are attracting lots of new faces, maybe the tide really is turning!

          • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

            Urban Dictionary….DUDE! That's the BIG TIME!
            Good job and CONGRATS, Stock.

            This is the way to do it. One post wakes up 2 readers, they wake up 2, and on and on and on.


            "Tirelessly posting the truth, everywhere and anywhere."….should be the definition of Whoopie! in Urban Dictionary…..and thank God for her.

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Hahahah…you funny Stock! I'm so proud of you!!!!

      • Hehe, i think this is hilarious, my claim to fame! LOL

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          I can't believe all this time, I never joined your site, UNTIL NOW! I'm embarrassed but so glad to be part of your group!
          3/11 Whoopie is there now!

        • Fall out man!

          Brilliant Stock! What's more the Trolls will hate this new word as it shines more light on their crimes. Well done! I'll make a point of using this new word myself. Its pure genius!!!!

  • Tpac Olam Tpac Olam

    So…. Capitalism works after all


      in truth, it would, if it were allowed to flourish in a free form. Unfortunately, corporate interests have twisted the concepts of free market capitalism to serve their interests, at the expense of the public.

      Back in 2008, the U.S. federal government allowed the banks to use taxpayer revenues to underwrite their losses (as they'd done during the S&L 'crisis' of the eighties), someone coined the phrase "Socialism for the rich…capitalism for the poor". This basically captures how we're held responsible for all the losses in modern society, while the elite simply continue to bleed us dry. But for the first time in modern history, Fukushima's changed the dynamic. No matter how they attempt to spin or cover-up the truth of this catastrophe, we are all going to be suffering. And as we're beginning to see from these stories on enenews, this suffering will be felt by all…

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        It actually sounds like fascism to me.

      • Fall out man!

        While everyone will be affected by Fukushima, the elite will be least affected. Ever wonder how China can produce so many bad drugs, contaminated food, contaminated toothpaste, poisoning after poisoning and its leaders never seem to do more than just execute a few low level no bodies here and there? It doesn't worry China's elite because they don't use the same food supply ordinary Chinese use and don't use the same medical quacks. China's elite have their own food supply.

        "There is growing resentment towards the country's leaders due to the perception that they are not troubled by the food security turmoil faced by ordinary citizens: in a speech delivered by Zhu Yonglan (祝詠蘭), Director of the State Council Central Government Offices Special Food Supply Centre (CGOSFSC) in August 2008,[149] Zhu disclosed that her firm which was set up in 2004 to source high-quality, all-organic foodstuffs from farms working under the strictest guidelines, for supply to top political leaders, their families and retired cadres.[149][150]"

        What's more, we even see this from the elite in the USA. I enjoy reading a health news letter from a very popular internet doctor – Dr Mercola who has a very useful health blog. Mercola has said NOTHING about Fukushima and yet at least one other blog claiming to be connected to him is all about that. However, for as long as I can remember Mercola has always wintered in Hawaii. In fact he was wintering there when Fukushima blew up. Anyone in his position, the elite of "natural medicine" with a thriving business associated with it, in touch with the top guys in the field, must be aware of how serious Fukushima is. Just this week I saw in his news letter that now he no longer winter's in Hawaii. Florida is his new winter home! His news letters never, ever mention Fukushima.

        Those ruling this world have a clean food supply and bolt holes as far from Fukushima's fallout as…

        • Fall out man!

          Also, its been the trend for some years now for anyone with serious money to buy their own farms. The Chinese government is buying (through third parties) large amounts of farmland in Brazil and New Zealand. A colleague told me a retired farmer friend of his from the bottom of NZ's South Island reckons that MOST dairy farms in the deep south are now Chinese owned.

          Through their greed, corruption and selfishness they've destroyed their own country's food supply and have had to purchase new ones. I don't think it will take them long to repeat the process and dread to think what will happen to NZ's reputation for producing safe food once those guys are fully in charge.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nobody will invest in it. All done.

    And I'm gonna celebrate …yeeeehaaawwww ! ! !

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      "WHERE'S THE PARTY!!" I"ll take a BEER!
      We SHOULD have a party! A Virtual one! Yeehaw!

    • the yeoman the yeoman

      Hate to be a buzz kill…but read the short(on specifics)Forbes piece again.

      "And it won’t become economically viable, he said, for the forseeable future"

      What one thinks is the forseeable future today can change tomorrow…with say… oh I don't know…the stroke of a pen.

      Put that beer down you are on watch sailor.

      All hands on deck!

      • the yeoman the yeoman

        This is what I need to hear from the likes of Mr. Rowe.

        Nuclear power is contraindicated absolutely.

        Nothing less

        When I hear that drinks are on me 🙂

        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          And Mr. Rowe was CEO of Excelon — the main nuke contributors to Obama in '08! Maybe this will help our chances with Obama's irrational support of Nukes. Let's hope so.

        • Fall out man!

          Yeah, the guy is making few soothing noises now, being "Mr Reasonable". But its just slick propaganda. The truth is that Nuclear power constantly releases radioactive contaminants even when its working as designed. It destroys the genome, bringing every species closer to extinction. We've seen from reports here on Enenews, from the likes of Chris Busby that anyone living 5 miles down wind of a Nuke plant has a higher risk of all kinds of diseases, infertility, miscarriage, downs syndrome, you name it.

          Something that degrades the genome is incompatible with life. Nuclear power has never been economic without massive subsidies and really he downplays that too. But while the direct financial costs are crippling, they are actually insignificant compared to the terrible health costs. Sadly, Mr. Rowe's comments are nothing more than industry propaganda. By focusing on economics he diverts attention from the countless deaths, deformities and diseases that nuclear power induces. Its lies by omission. A press release like that from a man like that would be very carefully thought through and carefully crafted. He hasn't had a change of heart. He's shifting the public's focus. Shifting it to economics as if the health cost if of no consequence. I can only describe the guy as pure evil. His silence on the health effects of nuclear energy will tragically lead to many more deaths yet.

          ITV program talking about increased cancer rates down wind of nuclear power plants. Something industry scientists have consistently lied about. Note that cancer is the tip of the iceberg. Cancer is a sign of genetic damage. Chernobyl has taught us that cancer is the least of a person's worries if they are contaminated with nuclear fallout. Radiation induced heart disease and stroke is much more likely to get them. But that can be attributed to other causes.

  • Mack Mack

    Don't celebrate too soon! lol

    They're still pushing smaller reactors, "modular" reactors, which I really believe are even more dangerous because their secondary containment is smaller.

  • chrisk9

    And here is where the anti nuclear movement needs to focus. Money talks and protests and arguments basically takes years and years to bring forth minor results. Nuclear power's dirty little secret is that it is not profitable in a free market. Add up all the costs of building a plant, maintaining it, updating it, dealing with the waste. insuring it,and decommissioning and you have something that is in no way profitable. With Fukushima's projected clean up cost probably trillions of dollars, and then still incomplete, there is no way that these plants can be profitable, or even pay for their own mess.

    Why is our government (the taxpayers) paying for their insurance,and their high level waste disposal? If the utilities had to cover themselves for any accident, and pay for spent fuel disposal there would no utilities willing to stay in the nuclear business.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Chrisk9: Before we all get giddy about nukes not being profitable, a little reality check. Nuke utilities unload to the public all the unacceptable risk. They gat loan guarantees, a $10 billion cap on liability, and eventual waste disposal all at public expense. Then, state utility regulatory agencies let them earn a fixed profit on their plant investment. Utilities know that a 10% profit on a $15 billion nuke plant is going to earn the utility more than a 10% profit on a $5 billion gas fired plant. So nukes are the MOST PROFITABLE form of energy available. They even get to recover their costs to decommission the nukes. What nukes are NOT is competitive with other forms of energy production. And they are no longer acceptable to the public. We still have a long way to go.

      • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

        Please sign this letter to Obama Administration to STOP the loan to build 2 new nuke plants in Georgia. They're on the fence….help push them over to the right side. They won't stop building them for the right reasons, but who cares at this point, as long as they don't build any more.



        you're both (philipupnorth & PoorDaddy) correct in your insight. I should add another hidden costs of nuclear power to modern society: the socioeconomic costs.

        As it's long-been treated as an intangible influence, the biological impact of nuclear technology over the development of children is rarely brought to the forefront. Setting aside premature deaths and long-term care for victims of radioactive contaminants, you'd likely find the costs running into billions of dollars annually, when you factor learning disabilities into the equation.

        We know that fetal exposure to low-level radioactive toxins can effect the development of the brain, as well as impede the healthy development of other organs. This can lead to severe developmental challenges for children, often resulting in life-long failures in academic achievement. Ultimately, society has to step-in and bear the cost (in one form or another) of those who are unable to compete in the job market and achieve viable economic self-sufficiency.

        Though there are many issues that can effect a child's academic abilities (learning environment, domestic and parental influences, diet, progenitor lineage, bio-chemical influences, etal), how radioactive toxins influence the early development of a biological life-form (in this case, a human) is little understood and bears greater scrutiny on all our parts…

      • chrisk9

        My point is your point. Without taxpayer support and guarantees these plants are huge money losers, and their costs per kilowatt are greater than most renewable sources.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Oh no…
    Japan TV star suffering acute leukemia after eating Fukushima produce

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    TearsInHeaven99 RT @BeyondNukes California Nuclear Initiative: People demand the ultimate protection – the shutdown of old nuclear power plants: http://t…/

  • girlygrrll

    So why are new reactors being built in Georgia?

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    Thanks for that link!
    This is the definitive story I have been waiting for over the last 12 months.
    We have heard very little about the adverse health effects for the general public in Japan, so far.
    If this elderly guy is affected within a year (assumption, of course), then we know that there will have to be many children affected even worse, let alone many other adults.

    The question is whether a "leukemia epidemic" will start to become obvious within the next 12 to 24 months in Japan.

    Which does not address the US west coast at all.

    Yet this has got to be even worse than those of us here on Enenews have been estimating since the reality of the problem now has the retired Excellon CEO essentially confessing to how NOT economic the nuclear industry is.

    I personally never imagined we would have heard such from someone as prominent in the nuke business as him actually capitulate.

    So I wonder when it becomes obvious that the Northern Hemisphere has gone "Children Of Men".

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Your so welcome. SAD HORRIFYING STORY, for sure. We WILL see more and more cases coming through all the time NOW. #!*#! Grrrr.

  • Fred

    Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River in Georgia, 100 miles upwind of Charleston, SC, my home is in construction of two huge AP1000 beasts. Today, VC Summer NPP in Jenkinsville, SC, got final approval for SC Electric and Gouge to start construction of two more AP1000 beasts over the objection of the NRC Chairman, who thinks the Fukushima modifications should come before licensing. Jenkinsville is 30 miles N of Columbia, SC, our state capital, in the VC Summer Exclusion Zone.

    Keep the kids indoors….

    • Fall out man!

      Sorry to hear that Fred. I can only shake my head that the powers that be can still get away with this. I wonder if anyone knows how much effort it would take now to find a city based home that is more than 100 miles from any nuclear power plants. The US seems to have Nuclear suicide vests strapped on all over the place.

      I think that the industry has tried to make sure that all states are contaminated so that there is no "control" group. Its very like Japan where the government there is burning radioactive waste in comparatively clean areas to remove any Japanese control groups.

  • Anthony Anthony

    ***Tepco, Japan's biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas, has said it would be hard to restart in 2012/13 any reactors shut for maintenance, since they face strong opposition from local communities hosting its sole facility unaffected by the quake, the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant.***

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Fall out man!
    Your wisdom is a bright light in a now very dark world.

    Cancer has been non existent on our planet for thousands of years.

    The lie is that "cancer" has been flourishing since the time of the Pharos in Egypt.

    All of this was and is a lie as radioactive sand was found at some of these ancient tomb sites. A few people were exposed and only a few mummies were found to have cancer and that was from the direct radiation exposures received from digging and probably the sand.

    So the world has little or no cancer incidence and then we all get smart!

    Early 1700's people start the re-discovery process of uranium and start to play around with it.

    Cancer rates start to go up in the areas that are playing around with uranium. Uranium starts its journey around the globe inside all the other boy's sand boxes as this discovery travels.

    The big muscle boys that like to dig, really have no idea or even have a clue what they are dealing with, and take no precautions and the cancer incidence around the globe starts to increase.

    The blind are leading the blind at this point. They are spreading this mutagenic discovery unknowingly everywhere.

    Then in the 1900s things really pick up as this uranium discovery is being used for more commercial applications. Thousands start to get cancer and everyone is clueless as to why.

    Then the dial painters show the results of lip and throat and lung cancers. To late as the genetic mutations have now started to enter the wombs of millions of women. They and their children are spreading these mutations to future generations. The evil starts to spread around the world.

    1900 to 1945 things really pick up even more as more people come down with cancer from exposure to this uranium, dust, radon, mining and discarded tailings left all over the planet.

    The big muscle boys and the geeks are now getting cancer and so are their offspring.

    1945 Nuclear detonations start and create a cancer baseline for…

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    the entire world!

    Now you know why 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have cancer in their lifetimes.

    All nuclear power plants need to be shut down now as these polluting toxic waste plants are now the primary cause for all new cancer diagnosis worldwide. Uranium from burning coal and oil released into the environment can have the same type effect.

    There is no safe level of Manmade Radiation Contamination.

    The key word to take note of is this one. Manmade!

    Our scientists and medical practitioners and military have brought this "Black Radiation Contamination Plague" onto all of humanity and to the rest of the species now residing on Planet Earth.

    Mankind must stop being so smart!