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Nuclear Costs

Estimates for new reactor construction costs continue to sky-rocket. Conservative estimates range between $6 and $12 billion per reactor but Standard & Poor's predicts a continued rise. The nuclear power industry is lobbying for heavy federal subsidization including unlimited loan guarantees but the Congressional Budget Office predicts the risk of default will be well over 50 percent, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear opposes taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear energy industry.

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Monday
Nov232009

New analysis examines taxpayer risks of proposed Webb-Alexander pro-nuclear power legislation

An article in Nuclear Power Daily compares the pro-nuclear power bill sponsored by U.S. Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) with an analysis by Dr. Mark Cooper, exploring the many financial risks faced by U.S. taxpayers if nuclear power loan guarantees for new reactors are granted and expanded, and the risks faced by ratepayers if "Construction Work in Progress" (CWIP) fees are added to electricity bills to pay for proposed new reactors in advance.

Monday
Nov162009

New Senate bill would expand nuclear power, advance reprocessing

A bill proposed by U.S. Senators Jim Webb (Democrat from Virginia) and Lamar Alexander (Republican from Tennessee) seeks to double nuclear power in the U.S. over the next 20 years, and relapse further into radioactive waste reprocessing, at taxpayer expense to the tune of $100 billion, not to mention radiological risk. Beyond Nuclear issued a press release condemning the move. In addition, Environment America expressed immediate opposition, urging resources be directed to cleaner, safer, and cheaper energy efficiency and renewable sources of electricity.

Monday
Nov162009

Obama administration wrestling with financial risk of new reactors

The high financial risks for U.S. taxpayers of new reactor loan guarantees have led the Office of Management and Budget to take a more cautious approach than the nuclear power proponent, U.S. Department of Energy, ClimateWire reports. Such caution is wise, given the litany of new reactor cancellations, suspensions, skyrocketing cost overruns, and licensing/construction schedule delays, as documented by Physicians for Social Responsiblity in "Nuclear Power: The Renaissance That Wasn't."

Thursday
Sep032009

U.S. Sen. McCaskill's letter to Energy Secy. Chu requesting extension to public comment deadline on nuclear loan guarantees

On Sept. 3, 2009, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat-Missouri) wrote to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, requesting an extension to the public comment deadline on DOE's proposed changes to the rules governing nuclear power loan guarantees. DOE agreed to a two week extension.

Wednesday
Sep022009

Environmental coalition urges DOE to extend nuke loan guarantee public comment period

Seven national environmental groups wrote the U.S. Dept. of Energy on August 20th. They urged that DOE's period for public comments, regarding the highly technical and high stakes changes to its regulations governing nuclear power loan guarantees, be extended from 30 to 90 days. This would better allow adequate time for concerned taxpayers to submit carefully considered comments, thus boosting the transparency of the process.