Re: "Nuclear upgrades not automatic," letter, Monday:

An Exelon Generation executive laments that my legislation, state House Bill 80, excludes nuclear energy from Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio.

The Exelon executive failed to mention a key point: If nuclear power were included, ratepayers would pay to Exelon and other nuclear power generators about 25 percent of the cost of the improvements in excess of $150 million they make to their nuclear facilities.

Exelon earned $2.7 billion in 2008, and its nuclear facilities have already been paid for by ratepayers. The nuclear industry is well-established and does not need additional ratepayer subsidization.

Wind and solar, on the other hand, are developing industries that would benefit from the short-term assistance my legislation would provide. This assistance would enable them to better compete with established sources of energy such as nuclear, coal, and natural gas.

In the long run, everyone would benefit from this increased competition.

Rep. Greg Vitali (D., Delaware)

Harrisburg