BOSTON — The Bosch gas field in northeastern Boston has become the latest of several hot spots to emerge as a potential site for a nuclear power plant in Massachusetts.
Bosch is the biggest and most important gas field on the continent, and its production has been growing steadily since the late 1980s, with production reaching a peak of 8,000 barrels per day in 2010.
The company has proposed a 1,200 megawatt nuclear power facility, and in November 2015 it announced plans to build a 1 gigawatt facility in the southeastern part of the state.
The state is one of only two in the nation to be able to export the energy generated at the site, which is currently owned by the state of Vermont.
“We have to do this,” said Kevin Smith, president of the Bosch Nuclear Energy Association.
“We’ve got to start with our gas and then move to nuclear.
We’re talking about the future of our economy and the future generations.
I believe that is what’s going to happen.”
A proposed 1 gigawatts nuclear plant in northeastern Massachusetts Source: Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Protection/AP BOSCH, Mass.
— Massachusetts Gov.
Deval Patrick on Thursday signed a bill that allows the state to export energy produced at the proposed 1,600 megawad power plant proposed by Bosch.
This would mark the first time the state has exported power produced at a nuclear facility to a foreign nation, according to the Associated Press.
Patrick signed the bill after signing an executive order allowing the state and the Department of Environmental Protection to export natural gas to a non-nuclear nation.
It would allow the state, under a state law, to export to a country any natural gas produced in the state at any time for at least 20 years after completion of the project, said Patrick.
A nuclear facility is considered more reliable than natural gas because it is produced and refined at the same site, and there is no risk of leakage.
It also provides a much cleaner fuel source.
According to the AP, the new export program will allow Massachusetts to export up to 400 million cubic feet of gas a day.
It is not yet clear when this could be expanded to include the gas that would be used to power the proposed nuclear facility.
In January, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved $6 billion in financing for a $5.2 billion project to construct a 2,000 megawatthand (MW) nuclear reactor at a site in southeastern Vermont.
The $5 billion project would create the nation’s largest electricity generator by far, and it would be the first of several nuclear reactors to be built in the country.
There is currently no facility in existence to produce natural gas in the United States.
It has been used for more than 1,000 years, and is a valuable and clean fuel source, according the Nuclear Energy Institute.