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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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Saturday
Aug012009

Fitch lowers Constellation to near-junk status

Fitch Ratings lowered Constellation Energy Group to the brink of junk status this week nearly eight months after noting the company had an uncertain ratings outlook in the wake of the Electicite de France deal announcement. Fitch cited "weak and inconsistent cash flows" in its downgrade. Constellation has announced that its second-quarter profit fell 95% on a loss from divestitures and falling revenue, the day after Maryland regulators delayed a decision on the company's proposed nuclear joint venture with EDF.

Wednesday
Jul082009

Dow Jones calls out exorbitant new nuclear costs

A July 7, 2009 article published by Dow Jones points out the looming and exorbitant costs and uncertainties surrounding proposed new U.S. reactor construction. 

Wednesday
Jul082009

Beyond Nuclear White Paper on "Nuclear Power's Toxic Assets" and why Wall Street won't touch them

The financial meltdown has amplified the already profound risks of investment in new nuclear reactors. The nuclear industry - recognizing this - is chasing potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees and taxpayer subsidies. Read the White Paper and the Fact Sheet synopsis.

Wednesday
Jul082009

Victory! Fifty billion dollars for toxic nuclear pork cut from stimulus bill! One billion dollars for nuclear weapons also axed!

Congressional negotiators in the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed late February 11 on a $789 billion stimulus bill but killed an attempt to squander $50 billion on new nuclear reactors. The agreement, made in the conference committee, axed a proposal from Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) to include $50 billion in pork barrel federal loan guarantees for the nuclear industry. The Congressional Budget Office stated earlier this year that nuclear utilities would default on more than 50% of the loans, leaving taxpayers and ratepayers to foot the bill. A one billion dollar allocation to the National Nuclear Security Administration for unspecified nuclear "weapons activities" was also removed from the bill.

For more background on opposition to the $50 billion for new nuclear reactors, read the Taxpayers for Common Sense letter to U.S. Senate.

View the environmental group coalition letter to U.S. Senate opposing $50 billion in federal taxpayer backed loan guarantees for new atomic reactors and coal to liquids (CTL) facilities, Feb. 2, 2009.

Wednesday
Jul082009

"Nuclear can no longer support climate change needs and targets"

According to an article in the November 20, 2008 edition of Nature, the financial crisis will postpone if not cancel new nuclear power plant projects. Journalist Geoff Brumfiel reports that the International Energy Agency's recommendation to increase the world's current nuclear capacity by 80% would set an impossible task financially, a view reflected by Matthew Bunn, a nuclear policy expert at Harvard who said that given the bleak financial outlook and the limited production capabilities of power plant vendors, "nuclear power can no longer support climate change needs and targets." (Nature is accessible on line to subscribers only.)

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