Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obama Wants $54 Billion In Nuclear Power Loan Guarantees

The Obama administration is seeking to triple the current $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of nuclear reactors to $54 billion in its fiscal 2011 budget proposal. The U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program was established under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and authorizes the Secretary of Energy to make loan guarantees to qualified projects in the belief that accelerated commercial use of these new or improved technologies will help to sustain economic growth, yield environmental benefits, and produce a more stable and secure energy supply.

The Center supports President Obama's $54 billion nuclear power plant loan guarantee proposal.

In late 2008, the Energy Department received applications from the nuclear industry for $122 billion in federal support, more than six times the $18.5 billion amount it had available for loan guarantees. The $122 billion in requests would have been enough to back construction of up to 21 reactors, enough to have boosted U.S. nuclear capacity by a fourth. DOE cut the list to four finalists: NRG Energy, Scana Corporation, Unistar Nuclear, and Southern Company. DOE Secretary Stephen Chu, pictured above with President Obama, will make an announcement on loan guarantees among those four from the $18.5 billion very soon. (WSJ, 1/29/10)

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