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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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Wednesday
Nov252009

Forbes strikes again!

As described in the current issue of Forbes magazine, federal nuclear loan guarantees would transfer the financial risks of the “nuclear renaissance” onto U.S. taxpayers. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that “well over half” of nuclear loan guarantees will default, leaving taxpayers to hold the bag for many billions of dollars per failed project. In February 1985, Forbes reported that “[t]he failure of the U.S. nuclear power program ranks as the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale. The utility industry has already invested $125 billion in nuclear power, with an additional $140 billion to come before the decade is out, and only the blind, or the biased, can now think that most of the money has been well spent.” If Energy Secretary Chu rushes nuclear loan guarantees out the door by the end of the year, as he has threatened to do, this ugly history could easily repeat itself. Phone Energy Secretary Steven Chu at (202) 586-6210 (during business hours only), email him at The.Secretary@hq.doe.gov, write him a letter at U.S. Department of Energy/1000 Independence Ave., SW/Washington, DC 20585, or fax him at (202) 586-4403. Urge Secretary Chu to not rush granting $18.5 billion in nuclear loan guarantees to flawed, incomplete, uncertified, unsafe and financially risky new reactor designs

Monday
Nov232009

Henry Sokolski op-ed, "Cap and Bribe," spotlights nuclear loan guarantees' violation of free market, transfer of financial risk to taxpayers

In an Oct. 21, 2009 opinion-editorial in the National Review Online, Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, urges Senate Republicans to stick by their fiscal conservative rhetoric and oppose taxpayer-backed loan guarantees for new atomic reactors.

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."