Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Money Needed To Build New Nuclear Plant in Maryland

Constellation says it would cost $4.5 billion to build a new nuclear plant adjacent to the two current reactors at Calvert Cliffs. Loan guarantees would still be needed to assure a build order. We're talking about loan guarantees even beyond those included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. There is protection in that law, which protects the first six builders if a project is delayed due to no fault of the developer ($500 million for the first two and $250 million for the next four). Additional loan guarantees are being sought in the pending energy bill.

Calvert County's Board of County Commissioners is offering Constellation 15 years of tax breaks worth $300 million to help build the new reactor. Of course, county tax revenues from the plant would easily pay back these breaks in a few years, then the county revenues would be freee and clear. Nuclear industry proponents and the Bush administration want to expand the energy loan guarantee program that includes solar, biomass, nuclear and other energy projects, to $9 billion with $4 billion of that going to nuclear and clean coal. Expanding the loan guarantees for innovative technologies needs legislation because loan guarantees are limited by the Federal Credit Reform Act. A Senate bill would remove the limits while a House version excludes nuclear projects. Currently about 17 companies have plans to build 31 reactors and at $2 billion each is $62 billion in fiancing. (Wash Post)

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