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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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Wednesday
Mar292017

Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power

As reported by the New York Times.

In a statement on Wednesday, Toshiba said Westinghouse and affiliated companies were “working cooperatively” with the owners to arrange for construction to continue. In recent days, the affected companies issued statements saying they were monitoring the situation and exploring their options, as did the Energy Department, which has authorized $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees for the Georgia project.

“We are keenly interested in the bankruptcy proceedings and what they mean for taxpayers and the nation,” said Lindsey Geisler, a Department of Energy spokeswoman. “Our position with all parties has been consistent and clear: We expect the parties to honor their commitments and reach an agreement that protects taxpayers, promotes economic growth, and strengthens our energy and national security.”

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

Plant Vogtle contractor seeks bankruptcy protection

As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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

Westinghouse files for bankruptcy, in a blow to nuclear power industry

As reported by Steven Mufson in the Washington Post.

The Reuters Washington, D.C. bureau chief, featured in the article's posted video, mentioned the untested U.S. federal government guarantees associated with the implicated Vogtle 3 & 4, Georgia new reactor construction project.

Mufson reports:

Another wrinkle in the Westinghouse saga is the $8.3 billion in loan guarantees the Energy Department provided to help finance the Vogtle reactors. Those guarantees were given to the utilities, so taxpayers would not be liable for losses unless the utilities were unable to make payments. (emphasis added)

But Toshiba-Westinghouse Nuclear's bankruptcy has undoubtedly increased the risk of default on the federal taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees, which was high to begin with.

Note that $8.3 billion of taxpayer-back 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

Ga. Power seeks ‘best path forward’ at Vogtle

As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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

Westinghouse troubles loom over SC, Georgia nuke projects

As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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!