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Friday
May212010

TCS to Feds: "War Spending Bill is No Place for More Nuclear Loan Guarantees"

Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) has objected to the Obama administration and congressional Democratic leaders agreeing to add energy loan guarantees -- including to support the building of new atomic reators -- on the emergency supplemental war spending bill. TCS stated "The emergency spending bill is supposed to address urgent, unforeseen war and disaster related items - adding risky loan guarantees for projects that won’t be built for years is little more than a cynical political ploy to jam it through Congress without adequate scrutiny." 

Friday
May212010

Industry leader Exelon admits new reactor construction un-economic

National Geographic, in an article entitled "New Nuclear Energy Grapples With Costs: Exelon Sees Weak Market, Others Think Climate Concerns Will Propel Industry," quotes Exelon CEO John Rowe that he plans no new reactors in the foreseeable future given their economic un-competitiveness.

Thursday
May202010

Industry leader pulls out of health study

In a May 10, 2010 letter, Dr. Richard Meserve recuses himself as Chair of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) from all committee activity related to a massive national health study that is taking shape around nuclear power facilities in the United States. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has requested that the NAS conduct a health study around past, present and future nuclear power facilities.   As Beyond Nuclear identified in an April 29, 2010 letter requesting that the NAS conduct a conflict-of-interest review, Dr. Meserve currently serves on boards of Luminant Corporation, Pacific Gas and Electric and as an advisor to UniStar Nuclear Corporation, all nuclear companies, some of which have applied to build new reactors around the United States. Read More



Thursday
May202010

Renewables Held Hostage to Nuclear Loan Guarantee Expansion

Further twisting the meaning of “clean energy” as the Kerry-Lieberman "climate" bill undermines environmental protections and promotes dirty energy industries at taxpayer risk and expense,  the Obama administration and Democratic House leaders have reportedly agreed to attach $90 million to a pending war spending bill in order to expand the nuclear power loan guarantee fund by $9 billion. This would accelerate the construction of three new atomic power plants in Maryland (Calvert Cliffs 3), South Carolina (two reactors at Summer), and Texas (South Texas Project Units 3 and 4). The nuclear power industry has long tried to hitch a ride on renewable energy and energy efficiency's popularity, such as last year when it joined with renewables associations to urge the expansion of energy loan guarantees at taxpayer expense, or last week when it stood with the American Wind Energy Association at the National Press Club. Constellation Energy is even underwriting nuclear power, wind power, and energy efficiency in the same breath on National Public Radio ads, as if these aren't mutually exclusive; its ad campaigns blur its nuclear goals with a renewables smokescreen. But nuclear power cannot solve the climate crisis or even its own serious problems, while renewables and efficiency can. In fact, "negawatts" and "micro power" are whipping nuclear power in the free market, and have been for years and even decades, a hopeful trend that is speeding up over time. But taxpayer support for nuclear power, as proposed by Senators Kerry and Lieberman, undermines those very free market forces, squelching the competitive promise of renewables/efficiency, much to the atomic industry's delight. To paraphrase long-time congressional atomic watchdog Ed Markey, Orwell's spinning so fast in his grave he should be connected to the electric grid! As shown by this latest deal, nuclear power stands to gain $9 billion of financing at taxpayer risk, "in exchange," politically, for solar to get only $1 billion.* Such Faustian bargains will continue to garner the atomic industry the lion's share, while renewables and efficiency are left with the crumbs. This would repeat the past half-century of failed energy policy in this country. Contact the White House at (202) 456-1111, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at (202) 225-0100. Urge President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to support the real solutions to the climate crisis -- renewables and efficiency -- but not at the taxpayer expense of further subsidizing dirty, dangerous, and expensive nuclear power.

*Correction: Renewables are also getting $9 billion (Sec. 1703, not 1705 -- the article cited above was inaccurate). However, this is not as good as it looks: DOE already has more loan guarantee authority than demand from the renewables industries, which are not willing to pay the associated subsidy fees required for receiving loan guarantees in the first place.

Monday
May172010

Arjun Makhijani to keynote Chicago grassroots gathering on radioactive waste, June 4-6

Register now for the important strategy summit and educational forum on radioactive waste policy to be held at Loyola University's lakeshore campus. Saturday, June 5th's educational forum will feature plenary sessions and eight break out sessions on various aspects of the radioactive waste crisis, and what can be done about it. Dr. Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research -- who coined the term "Hardened On-Site Storage" in 2002 -- will deliver the keynote address on Saturday evening. Help us promote this event by emailing your friends (use our promo email text), and printing and posting our flyer.