Skip to comments.President Obama to step up support for US nuclear industry
Posted on 02/14/2010 10:09:48 AM PST by TaxPayer2000
President Barack Obama is to signal a major step-change in the global nuclear industry this week when he announces loan guarantees for two nuclear reactors to be built in the US.
The move will pave the way for the construction of the first nuclear power plants in America for more than three decades.
Financial assistance will be given to build two 1,150-megawatt reactors to Southern Company's two-unit site south of Augusta in Georgia in the first of billion of dollars of loans guarantees allocated to the nuclear power industry. Mr Obama has said he wants to use nuclear power and other alternative sources of energy in his effort to create a more self-sufficient energy policy for America.
In his first State of the Union address last month, Mr Obama declared it was time to build a "new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country". He said nuclear power could play an important role in creating "clean energy jobs" and more efficient energy.
In his budget, Mr Obama proposed tripling the funds available for nuclear loans guarantees to $54.5bn (£34.7bn) in the coming fiscal year.
A Washington official, who confirmed the announcement next week, told reporters that proposed new reactors would generate power for some 1.4 million people and employ about 850 people. He added that the Georgia project would create about 3,000 construction jobs.
In Britain, plans are already under way to build two new nuclear power stations as part of a similar drive to improve energy security. EDF, the energy giant 80pc-owned by the French government, is planning to build the country's first nuclear stations in decades at Sizewell in Suffolk and Hinkley Point in Somerset.
There have been no new licenses issued to nuclear plants in the America since 1979 when a major accident at....
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Normally I would support it but Obama is still a marxist and the soviet political system played a huge part in the Chernobyl disaster.
Political and union appointees will run the place and anybody with actual knowledge will be afraid to speak out about problems.
I read the article a few times and can’t figure something out.
What’s the catch (trap)? Besides only two (we need more than that). There is always a catch with these guys.
This will go along with the “Nuclear Economics” he is unleashing on our country.
Posted yesterday. And if he was so pro-nuclear, why not fund long-term waste disposal sites like Yucca Mountain? Seems to me he pretty much gutted it last year. Yeah, say one thing, do another—it’s the Obama way.
Do we have any experienced nuclear engineers capable of designing the equipment and plant? It’s been 31 years since the last license was issued for a nuclear generating unit was issued in the U.S. A whole generation of design engineering skills and experience has been lost. Starting over again from scratch generally doesn’t produce optimal outcomes.
Or even better, fund technologies like molten salt reactors that can use all the “waste” fuel that current generation reactors put out. The waste from these reactors is inert. That means no long-term storage problem.
These people are so full of cr**.
If I had to guess, because there is always a catch with the Democrats, is that the Feds will guarantee the loans but that doesn't say anything about the decades long permitting process that the eco-nazis make the industry go through.
Me too. His support probably means he’ll dump billions into setting up solar panels atop the cooling towers.
3,000 jobs at just the cost of a few billion in load ganatees.
Now, what about the other 6.5 million folks looking for work?
The Canadians use the heavy water plants. As I understand it they aren’t the most efficient but they do appear to be fairly safe.
Nuclear under Obama better put safety over efficiency.
Actually, Mitsubishi has designs for a modular plant (1750MWe) that are much more reliable than the current designs. Also, we’ve learned a lot from Naval plants, as well as reasearch done at EG&G Idaho and Los Alamos.
Which makes me even more suspicious of Obama's intentions. After all, It is he and his political comrades who have made it impossible for this country to build a nuclear power plant or oil refinery for the past 35 years. Hell it takes 20 years of legal hassles to even build a coal powered power plant! What's in it for his Marxist agenda I wonder? Very interesting indeed.
I worked at Stone& Webster in the late ‘70s early 80’s and watched as our nuclear industry was systematically disassembled, through a combination of neglect, high costs and malice. I don’t think it will ever fully recover.
“The waste from these reactors is inert.”
I’m not sure about that- it will have less uranics and transuranics, but there is plenty of other stuff, like cesium, cobalt, barium, and the like.
When did this about face take place?
Obama signals Nuke loan.
Environmental groups sue and it gets tied up for years.
Yobama shrugs and says “I tried” while winking at the greens.
This is wonderful news. The left will be dissembling.
How would you like to buy a bridge?
I don’t believe him.
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What makes you think our current designs aren't safe, or the ones on the drawing boards such as the AP1000? I guess the grass is always greener.
Go back to my first post. My concerns are with allowing the Obama administration run the show. The Chernobyl disaster was in large part a result of the political system in the Soviet union.
Its not that there are problems with our designs, I’m mostly concerned with who would run them under this administration. I really prefer something that becomes harmless with mismanagement.
I would be alot less suspicious.
You are all wondering what the catch is. Obama is taking credit for a Bush initiative.
Southern Company applied for these loan guarantees under the Bush administration’s program. The loan guarantee was in a very advanced state of approval when Obama made this announcement.
Actually, Southern was so confident of receiving the loan guarantee that they began clearing ground in early 2009 for Vogtle Units 3 and 4. I was at Vogtle in July and a vast area had been cleared and leveled, with all access roads created. These plants are already under contract with Westinghouse and construction has started a couple of months ago.
Obama is essentially taking credit for the whole program, while the fact is that thishis announcement is just a formality.
During the Bush administration, Bush wanted to jump start the nuclear industry. A program was set up to provided $12 billion in loan guarantees. The program was immensely popular with utilities, and a total of $117 billion in loan applications were chasing that $12 billion. Southern Company was chosen because of its ease in site preparation, it is located in an area that is favorable for nuclear, and it has a good history with the NRC.
Remember the “stimulus” bill? In the first draft, there was a provision for $50 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear plant constuction. Not payouts. Just loan guarantees, for low risk borrowers. Would have created tens of thousands of high paying construction and operation jobs. But it didn’t make it to the final draft. It was taken out by the democrats.
Now that we’ve gone almost a year with ~10% unemployment, Obama has become desperate enough that he is forced to enhance the very same Bush program which the democrats had previously rejected.
What’s the catch? Obama is tacitly admitting Bush was on the right track while taking credit for Bush’s idea.
Dubya DID implement it. See post 32.
Dubya implemented it. Obama took credit for it.
See post 32.
Obama is taking credit for Bush’s initiative. I suspect he is doing so because HIS job creation programs have all FAILED.
It begs the question. If nuclear power is such a good idea why would they need anything more than approval? Forget anything else “federal” including loan guarantees.
Westinghouse is building four plants in China. We are going through lots of growing pains, but we have a good handle on things. The cafeteria looks like a high school lunchroom with all the new hires, however these are very bright kids. They are being lead by a core of much older engineers who were around when the last plants were built and were involved in the latest design.
Yes. Just because reactors haven't been built in the US doesn't mean that US companies haven't been building reactors in the rest of the world. And the Navy still builds, installs, and runs a LOT of nukes. The expertise is there. All that is needed is to get the eco-idiots and their litany of lawsuits out of the way.
Because a new plant costs several billion dollars. Money is very tight nowadays and lenders are looking for guarantees before putting out that kind of cash.
Not true. The leftovers from these plants is in no way "inert". If anything, it is more intensely radioactive than other current waste. The big difference is that it contains much less long-halflife actinides (Pu-and others). So instead of needing to be contained for a few tens of thousands of years, they'll only need to be contained for a few hundreds of years.
But they'll still need waste storage facilities.
I worked on part of Plant Vogtle in the '80s. I'm sure it's not the same people, but I was impressed with Georgia Power's people then and one would hope they've kept the lineage, so to speak.
If anyone can do it right I would think they are in the running, even with dummyrat meddling
Chernobyl was a graphite-moderated reactor. It is an inherently unsafe design. With the loss of the graphite moderator, the reaction goes out of control.
No US plants use this design. US plants are slow-neutron reactors. Water is used to slow the neutrons down for capture and fission. If the water is missing, the neutrons are too fast and the reaction stops. This why Three Mile Island was more of a financial disaster than an environmental disaster...the reaction stopped when the water went away.
The relationship between the government, the utilities and the NRC is rather complicated. I believe that most of the NRC is paid for by the utilities, so there are some checks to an overreaching Obama administartion.
Probably not true anymore. Under the old system of license approvals, there were multiple opportunities for environmental groups to stick their noses into the process and screw things up.
However, the nuclear industry, and a somewhat sympathetic NRC, have revised the process. Now there is only ONE opportunity for environmentalists to have a say, and the resolution process has limited what they can do.
The success of the licensing process for the new Vogtle plants is an example of how environmentalist powers have been curtailed. Phoney claims and obstructionism for the sake of obstructionism will not hold much water anymore.
100 nuclear plants were licensed and built in the 20 year heyday — average of 5 per year from 1960 to 1980. I haven’t kept up with global nuclear expansion — have that many been built globally the last 30 years? Is the experience in the U.S.? Or Japan?
Thank you for the ino. This is really good news!
"In 2007, the IAEA reported there were 439 nuclear power reactors in operation in the world, operating in 31 countries." Wikipedia
There are 37 reactors currently under construction, and 40 more on order.
US companies built most of these. The companies may now be Japanese subsidiaries (I haven't kept track of changes of ownership, but a little digging will probably winkle it out), but the technology and engineers are largely American.
Nuclear power is needed, but giant nuclear power plants are not and nuclear power does not need government loans.
The only purpose in those loans will be the campaign contributions he expects to flow back to him and his.
If he was really serious he would be taking steps to ban the EPA and reverse all the ignorant “green” laws on the books that make it impossible for nukes to be built. It isn’t the money that is stopping people, it’s the regulations.
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