Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Utilities Seek $122 Billion in Nuclear Loan Support

Southern Co., PPL Corp. and Duke Energy Corp. are among 17 utilities seeking $122 billion in loan guarantees from a U.S. Energy Department program that makes available $18.5 billion to build nuclear plants. Power companies that want to build 21 reactors submitted applications for the guarantees, the department said in an e- mail today. Spokeswoman Bethany Shively said the department isn't naming the utilities. The industry has complained that the $18.5 billion isn't enough to jumpstart a so-called nuclear renaissance, saying that amount could help support three reactors at the most. The program, mandated under a 2005 law, has been mired in funding disputes and delays. It's intended to offer financing support for clean-energy projects that otherwise might not be built.

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