U.S. taxpayers at risk of losing $8.3 billion if Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactor project defaults on its loan
As reported by Japan Times in an article entitled "Concerns emerge over guarantee for Toshiba's U.S. nuclear project," U.S. taxpayers are at risk of losing $8.3 billion, if the Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactor construction project in Georgia defaults on its loan repayment. That risk has increased significantly in recent months, as Toshiba-Westinghouse, a Japanese firm, teeters on the brink of bankruptcy.
Several years ago, President Barack Obama's Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, awarded the proponents of the Voglte 3 & 4 new reactors -- including Southern Nuclear -- an $8.3 billion federal nuclear loan guarantee, requiring no credit subsidy fee. That is, the companies have zero skin in the game.
The loan guarantee was meant to attract private Wall Street investment firms, but did not. Thus, ironically, the loan itself came from the U.S. Finance Bank, which is federal taxpayer funded. This puts federal taxpayers at even more risk from a Vogtle 3 & 4 loan default.
$8.3 billion is 15 times more taxpayer money at risk, than was lost during the Solyndra solar scandal.
Cost overruns and construction schedule delays have plagued Vogtle 3 & 4's construction from the beginning, several years ago. The problems have contributed significantly to Toshiba-Westinghouse's economic duress, leading Toshiba to exit the new reactor business, and to seek to off-load Westinghouse.
As reported by Japan Times, Toshiba-Westinghouse, on the brink of bankruptcy, is looking to either South Korea or China for a rescue package.