This is a very, very big deal. If nukes have to go offline just when you need them most, that’s a huge monkey wrench in plans for a nuclear resurgence.

Given that this much-discussed (if less observed) resurgence centers on precisely those states most likely to suffer crippling heat waves, this is a huge problem for investors. The last thing anyone wants after dropping two big ones ($2B) on a nuke plant is to have to buy juice at more than $100/mWh on the spot market during a heat wave.

Given the likely temperature trends that we’ve already unleashed, this is bad news; without air conditioning, most of the South is already damn near uninhabitable; if we use more coal to make the A/C work, then we’re not just shooting ourselves in both feet — we’re heading north at that point, blasting away.

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