Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Mother Jones: President Obama's Nuclear Boondoggle

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:54 AM
Original message
Mother Jones: President Obama's Nuclear Boondoggle
Obama's Nuclear Boondoggle
By Kate Sheppard
Mother Jones
February 17, 2010

In its eagerness to woo Republicans with nuclear-friendly policies, the Obama administration plans to hand out $54.5 billion in government-backed loans to kick-start a nuclear renaissance. On Tuesday, it announced the first beneficiary of this largesseand apparently the best candidate it could find was a proposed plant that's been put on hold by federal regulators due to serious safety concerns.

The Department of Energy (DOE) will underwrite a loan of $8.3 billion to Southern Company's two planned reactors at Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Georgia"just the first of what we hope will be many new nuclear projects," Carol Browner, the White House adviser on climate and energy, told reporters on Tuesday. Browner said the loan guarantee demonstrates the administration's commitment to working with Republicans on energy; handing major concessions to nuclear interests has been a key part of the Obama administration's strategy to pass a climate bill this year.

Yet last October, federal regulators discovered significant safety concerns in the design proposal for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors that are slated to be used for the Georgia project and six others around the country. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rejected the proposal after determining that the shield design would not protect the reactor from earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and airplane crashes. Michael Johnson, director of the NRC's Office of New Reactors, noted that the agency had "consistently laid out our questions" to Westinghouse about the design, which did not yet meet "fundamental engineering standards."

The loan guarantee is conditional upon NRC approval. But if the project ever gets off the ground, there are plenty of red flags signaling that it's a very bad investment for taxpayers. The nuclear loan guarantees are intended to finance up to 80 percent of the total project cost for new reactors. Southern Company's most recent estimate for the two reactors is $14 billion, though according to independent projections the true cost of a single reactor may be closer to $12 billion. That means that the government could pour money into a new plant, only to see construction halt when the price tag rises and there are insufficient funds to complete it. Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste specialist with Beyond Nuclear, points out because the design has not even been finalized or approved yet, "the utility has essentially no idea how much the reactor is going to cost." (The Vogtle site has an ominous history of massive price overruns: The plant's existing reactors were originally estimated to cost $1 billion each. But by the time they were completed in the 1980s, the bill had reached nearly $9 billion per reactor.)

Please read the full article at:

http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/02/obama-goes-n...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. You've found your calling today, eh?...nt
Sid
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
vegiegals Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I am glad he found it. Better than keeping one's head in the sand.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Peregrine Took Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks for posting. Excellent article. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
vegiegals Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-17-10 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. The feds appear to like the bankers=taking on very high risk loans =and
the taxpayer is the pick up guy once again.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Jul 24th 2014, 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC