The Obama administration’s 2011 budget proposes tripling the nuclear loan guarantee program from the $18.5 billion that Congress has already approved to $54.5 billion.
When deciding to expand this program did he confer with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission?
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko recently quoted that the best estimate for a new reactor’s price tag is about $10 billion. “Very few utilities have the capability or market capitalization equivalent to that kind of cost,” he said.
Did he speak with the Congressional Budget Office?
The Congressional Budget Office has rated the risk of default on a nuclear loan guarantee to be well above 50 percent. In the event of default, taxpayers are on the hook to bailout the industry.
Did he speak with his base?
According to MoveOn, who ran its first ever dial group on a SOTU speech. Far and away the largest negative spike in the speech was on the dirty energy section where he pushed nukes and oil-drilling.
Did he speak with the nuclear industry?
“Federal loan guarantees are absolutely critical to our proposed new project at Calvert Cliffs in southern Maryland,” said George Vanderheyden, president and CEO, UniStar Nuclear Energy, during the Power Engineering interview. “It’s become very clear to us given what’s going on in the greater economy-not just the U.S., the global economy-that private equity has no interest in investing in this project right now and the financial markets are not able to support a nuclear energy facility at this stage.”
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Allison Fisher is the Energy Organizer at Public Citizen