For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Billions to Subsidize Nuclear Energy
WASHINGTON - The New York Times reports today: "In a speech in Lanham, Md., Mr. Obama
announced government approval of an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to help
the Southern Company build two reactors in Burke County, Georgia, near
A former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and now a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, Alvarez just wrote the piece "Nukes Aren't the Answer,"
which states: "Wall Street has refused to finance nuclear power for
more than 30 years, rendering new construction impossible. The Obama
administration, in a move to placate Senate Republicans, proposes to
fund new power reactors with some $54.5 billion in federal loan
guarantees. Because of the way the guarantees are structured, the
actual loans will be made by the Federal Financing Bank out of the U.S.
Treasury. Last year, the Government Accountability Office estimated
that these loans have more than a 50-50 chance of failing. ...
[D]espite Obama's rhetoric about reshaping America's energy future,
he's asking for a budget that would have the Energy Department continue
to spend 10 times more on nuclear weapons than energy conservation."
Kamps, a specialist in nuclear waste at Beyond Nuclear,
said today: "President Obama's nuclear loan guarantee now forces
American taxpayers to bear 80 percent of the financial risks for two
proposed new Toshiba-Westinghouse so-called 'Advanced Passive (AP)
1000' atomic reactors. The Japanese export bank will bear the financial
risks for much of the rest. This leaves Southern Nuclear Company of
Georgia free to engage in a 'moral hazard' with a radiological risk
twist, given the major safety design flaw with the reactor's shield
building identified by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission just last
October. Thus, taxpayers are damned if they do, damned if they don't.
If the reactors go belly-up, taxpayers will be on the hook for many
billions in loan repayment. If the flawed design actually gets built
and operates, communities downwind and downstream will be at
radiological risk from tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, or crashing
airliners releasing catastrophic amounts of deadly radioactivity from
the vulnerable reactors."
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