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Loan Guarantees

New reactor construction is so expensive and unpredictable that no U.S. utility is willing to take the risk without the backing of federal loan guarantees, potentially in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Beyond Nuclear and others fight to prevent the mature nuclear industry from seizing any such subsidies which are better spent on true climate solutions such as renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

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Tuesday
Aug012017

Death of Scana's V.C. Summer project puts industry on notice

As reported by E&E.

The $8.3 billion in federal taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees at Vogtle Units 3 & 4 are mentioned in this article, by Stan Wise, GA PSC Commissioner, in the context of differences between the now-cancelled Summer Units 2 & 3 in SC, and the not-yet-cancelled Vogtle 3 & 4 units in GA:

Plant Vogtle also has more owners to spread out costs and has a federal loan guarantee. What's more, Toshiba has agreed to pay billions to both plants in parent guarantees, and more money is going to Vogtle, he said.

The statement came amidst a section of the article discussing Vogtle 3 & 4's future. GA decision makers may rule yet this month whether or not to proceed with Vogtle Units 3 & 4.

Wednesday
Jul262017

Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House

As reported by Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair.

The article begins:

Donald Trump’s secretary of energy, Rick Perry, once campaigned to abolish the $30 billion agency that he now runs, which oversees everything from our nuclear arsenal to the electrical grid. The department’s budget is now on the chopping block. But does anyone in the White House really understand what the Department of Energy actually does? And what a horrible risk it would be to ignore its extraordinary, life-or-death responsibilities?

The article includes a long section on the loan guarantee program at Energy Dept. It mentions the Solyndra solar loan guarantee default -- with a loss of $535 million to American taxpayers. 

The article then goes on to say the remainder of the $70 billion energy loan guarantee program had been successful, even making a profit for the U.S. Treasury.

However, it left out a very high risk nuclear loan guarantee from the DOE, for $8.3 billion, toward the Vogtle 3 & 4 proposed new reactors in Georgia.

Wednesday
Mar292017

SCAMA (South Carolinians Against Monetary Abuse) Obtains Records Indicating Liens Filed by Fluor, Company Constructing New Nuclear Reactors in South Carolina and Georgia, Against SCE&G and Georgia Power/Southern Nuclear

As reported in a press release posted on the website of Savannah River Site Watch.

Note that $8.3 billion of taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees are at risk of being lost, if the Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactor construction project defaults on its loan repayment. This is 15 times the amount of taxpayer money lost in the Solyndra solar loan guarantee default, as Michael Mariotte of NIRS pointed out many years ago.

Critics of the nuclear loan guarantee program warned about such risks in May 2001, when the Cheney Energy Task Force Report first floated the proposal of nuclear loan guarantees; again in 2005 when nuclear loan guarantees were made legal by passage of the Energy Policy Act; and again in 2007, when Congress and George W. Bush approved more than $20 billion worth of new reactor loan guarantees; and again leading up to the 2014 Obama administration approval of the $8.3 billion nuclear loan guarantee for Vogtle 3 and 4, without requiring any skin in the game by any of the companies involved -- an economic moral hazard with a radioactive twist!

Wednesday
Mar292017

ADVISORY: Experts discuss concerns with Westinghouse bankruptcy filing and the possible impacts on new nuclear construction projects in Georgia and South Carolina

As reported in a Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) press advisory.

Note that $8.3 billion of taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees are at risk of being lost, if the Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactor construction project defaults on its loan repayment. This is 15 times the amount of taxpayer money lost in the Solyndra solar loan guarantee default, as Michael Mariotte of NIRS pointed out many years ago.

Critics of the nuclear loan guarantee program warned about such risks in May 2001, when the Cheney Energy Task Force Report first floated the proposal of nuclear loan guarantees; again in 2005 when nuclear loan guarantees were made legal by passage of the Energy Policy Act; and again in 2007, when Congress and George W. Bush approved more than $20 billion worth of new reactor loan guarantees; and again leading up to the 2014 Obama administration approval of the $8.3 billion nuclear loan guarantee for Vogtle 3 and 4, without requiring any skin in the game by any of the companies involved -- an economic moral hazard with a radioactive twist!

Wednesday
Mar292017

Fate of Southern Company and SCANA New Nuclear Power Projects Unknown as Lead Contractor Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy

As reported by a Southern Alliance for Clean Energy press release.

Note that $8.3 billion of taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees are at risk of being lost, if the Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactor construction project defaults on its loan repayment. This is 15 times the amount of taxpayer money lost in the Solyndra solar loan guarantee default, as Michael Mariotte of NIRS pointed out many years ago.

Critics of the nuclear loan guarantee program warned about such risks in May 2001, when the Cheney Energy Task Force Report first floated the proposal of nuclear loan guarantees; again in 2005 when nuclear loan guarantees were made legal by passage of the Energy Policy Act; and again in 2007, when Congress and George W. Bush approved more than $20 billion worth of new reactor loan guarantees; and again leading up to the 2014 Obama administration approval of the $8.3 billion nuclear loan guarantee for Vogtle 3 and 4, without requiring any skin in the game by any of the companies involved -- an economic moral hazard with a radioactive twist!