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Thursday
Oct052017

Trump DOE ups nuclear loans to $12 billion despite multiple investigations

The Trump administration's Department of Energy (DOE) has, shockingly, just offered Southern Nuclear and its partners in the construction of the Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactors in Georgia a $3.7 billion (yes, with a B!) federal taxpayer-backed loan guarantee, in a bid to shore up the faltering new build project. This is on top of the $8.3 billion nuclear loan guarantee awarded by President Obama's DOE a few years ago, making a tidy $12 billion overall. That's more than half of the total approved for nuclear loan guarantees nationwide a decade ago during the George W. Bush administration. This is more than 22 times the amount of taxpayer money put at risk, than was lost in the Solyndra solar loan guarantee default several years ago, which congressional Republicans like U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (St. Joe, MI) made such a stink about at the time. It obviously puts all that federal taxpayer funding at very high risk of a loan default at Vogtle 3 & 4. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's largesse with taxpayer funds, to benefit filthy rich nuclear corporations, flies in the face of the cautionary tale at Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina.

Multiple federal and state investigations are now under way, probing wrongdoing associated with the recent cancellation of two proposed new reactors of the same design as at Vogtle -- Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000s. The bankruptcy of Westinghouse, announced on March 29th, has led to Summer 2 & 3's cancellation, representing a huge loss of billions of dollars of ratepayer funding. Westinghouse's historic bankruptcy was due to the massive cost overruns, and years-long schedule delays, at these four AP1000 new builds in the Southeast. Please contact your U.S. Rep., as well as both your U.S. Senators, via the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121), and urge them to do all they can to block this latest giveaway of taxpayer money to the nuclear power industry! (The image, above left, "Burning Money," is compliments of the late Gene Case, of Avenging Angels; it was featured on the cover of The Nation magazine in 2003, accompanying Christian Parenti's feature article about the nuclear power relapse, of which Summer 2 & 3, and Vogtle 3 & 4, are the dubious flagships.) More