Urge DOE to protect taxpayers against risky nuclear loan guarantees!

Thanks to everyone who contacted the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and their Members of Congress two weeks ago, urging an extension of DOE’s public comment period on its proposed weakening of taxpayer protections in its nuclear loan guarantee program. Under pressure from concerned citizens and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), DOE extended the comment deadline from Sept. 8th to Sept. 22nd.

Now we must take advantage of this extension to get our comments in! DOE’s most clearly outrageous proposal is to give up its “first lien” in the event of a new reactor loan repayment default. This would mean that taxpayers would be placed behind other lenders, such as foreign export-import banks, in terms of receiving compensation. Thus, taxpayers likely would not be compensated at all, but rather left holding the bag for billions when a new reactor or uranium enrichment facility goes belly up. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted, based on the nuclear industry’s history, that well over half of all new reactors could default on their loans. Taxpayers’ liability for dozens of new reactor loan guarantees could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars. DOE’s rule change would increase, not decrease, taxpayer risk.

You can use Beyond Nuclear’s sample comments as is, or change them as you see fit.

Please take a few minutes between now and midnight Tuesday to submit short comments to DOE, calling on it to prioritize taxpayer protections by withdrawing its proposed weakening of the nuclear loan guarantee rules (email your comment to:

To learn more about DOE’s proposed nuclear loan guarantees, see its “Full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” as well as DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program website. Also, see Beyond Nuclear’s “Nuclear Costs” website. If you have further questions, contact Kevin Kamps at Beyond Nuclear, (301) 270-2209 ext. 1, or


Fears in Europe that U.S. could weaken Copenhagen agreement

Fears are being expressed in Europe that the U.S. could weaken a climate agreement that urgently needs to be made this December in Copenhagen, The Guardian newspaper reports. Despite a commitment to addressing climate change by the Obama administration, European sources told the Guardian that the Obama position on climate would be based on "anxiety about its ability to get a new global treaty ratified in the US Senate." This makes actions we take here to pass a strong climate bill all the more important and we urge you to contact your senator and insist that he or she not approve federal loan guarantees for nuclear energy in the climate bill, money that will detract from funding real and urgently needed sustainable energy climate solutions.


Look for Beyond Nuclear in The Nation this week!

Please check out this coming week's copy of The Nation (dated September 28) for our full page ad (featuring Ed Asner), and our special remit envelope. Please use the envelope - or go to our Take Action item on the left of your screen - to sign our letter to President Obama, urging him to oppose funding for nuclear energy in the upcoming Senate Climate bill. Federal loan guarantees for nuclear energy would force taxpayers to shoulder the debt for new reactors which are too expensive, too slow and too dangerous to address climate change.


Beyond Nuclear slams Entergy Nuclear CEO’s compensation as needed safety fixes go undone at Palisades reactor

In light of important revelations made by the Brattleboro Reformer, Beyond Nuclear issued a press release contrasting Entergy Nuclear CEO J. Wayne Leonard's exorbitant compensation package with long delayed, and even cancelled, vital safety repairs needed at Entergy's Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan.


The challenge is on as Boxer confirms funding for nuclear in Senate climate bill

Efforts by all of us will need to escalate over the coming weeks after Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), confirmed September 9 that the Senate climate bill will include a section dedicated to incentives for the nuclear power industry. Groups including Beyond Nuclear, along with individual activists around the country, have been working hard to keep nuclear funding out of the Senate climate legislation. Please continue to contact your Senator and let him or her know that diverting funding to the already sated nuclear industry will starve real climate change solutions like renewable energy and energy efficiency condemning the measures in the bill to failure.