Tuesday, March 18, 2008

US Government Loan Guarantees For New Nuclear Plants Too Small

The U.S. government's $18.5-billion federal loan guarantees falls short of the $500 billion needed to build the country's next generation of nuclear powered reactors over the next decade, the commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday.

The loan guarantees would only be enough to finance two to three nuclear reactors and could ultimately hinder companies from building all the new units they apply for, said the NRC's Gregory Jaczko.

"It's a far cry from what's needed," said Jaczko. "Congress is supportive, but have decided not to provide more federal loan guarantees - there's a disconnect there, so financing would have to happen without federal loan guarantees," he added.

The U.S. is on the verge of a nuclear power revival after 30 years of no new build and companies say the loan guarantees are crucial to get the first wave of new plants up and running.


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