Delaware Taxpayers May Have to Pay for Nuclear Plant in New Jersey


    Taxpayers are used to money coming out of their paychecks to go towards rebuilding and updating infrastructure all around their state. Now, however, some Delaware taxpayers are not too happy about seeing their money go towards shoring up the nuclear plant at Artificial Island — largely because the power plant is across the Delaware River in New Jersey.

    This interstate feud has to do with infrastructure problems which are compromising the energy flow around the tri-state area.

    “The electrical system in southern New Jersey is unstable in the artificial island area,” said Casey Carroll, project manager for LS Power. “As it becomes more and more unstable, the only way the operator can keep the system functioning is to start closing off parts of the system, [instituting] black outs…those can cascade very quickly when we’re talking a stability issue.”

    LS Power was granted a $146 million dollar contract to install an underwater pipeline from New Jersey to Delaware, but funding for the project will come out of Delawareans’ (and Marylanders’) pocketbooks.

    that uses a process to bury the line under the river quicker than ever before.

    Th process, which will bury the pipeline under the river, would be done with a tool called a vertical injector, which looks like a hockey stick — only two feet wide and 70 feet tall. Nozzles on each end of the pipe inject river water into the river bed, which then creates a quicksand-like area, enabling engineers to sink the cables into the earth.

    All in all, the vertical injector would install the cable from bank to bank within 24 hours. Despite the fact that it will benefit residents in the entire area, Governor Jack Markell and Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan, have written a letter to grid operator PJM expressing their objections.

    In total, residential tax payers would see a $4 increase in their bill every month, but industrial customers would experience a huge spike in energy prices.

    Plus, according to the U.S. Nuclear Energy Institute, the costs for each plant vary depending on the energy used. For a coal fired plant, 78% of the cost is the fuel, for a gas-fired plant that figure is 89%, and for nuclear plants the cost for uranium is 14%. However, for a brand new plant, that figure rises to 28% in order to include all front end costs.

    As of right now, the Artificial Island project is on hold. PJM expects to make and announce a decision by February.