Obama guaranties nuclear plant loans – environmentalists balk

President Obama will announce support for a new nuclear power plant in Burke, Georgia this week. In reality, he is approving the federal loan guaranty that would be required to build the expensive plant, but will he really go to bat against anti-nuke groups?

Probably not. My guess is he will support the loan guaranty and nothing will happen since several regulatory hurdles remain to get the Georgia plant off the drawing table. Construction – if approved – would not start until late 2011 or 2012 in a best-case scenario. From the Washington Times.

President Barack Obama will announce next week a loan guarantee to build the first new nuclear power plant in the United States in almost three decades, an administration official said Friday.

The two new Southern Co. reactors to be built in Burke, Georgia, are part of a White House energy plan that administration officials hope will draw Republican support. Obama’s direct involvement in announcing the award underscores the political weight the White House is putting behind its effort to use nuclear power and alternative energy sources to lessen American dependence on foreign oil and reduce the use of other fossil fuels blamed for global warming.

Let’s see if he really means it. Loan guaranties and speeches luke-warm to nuclear power are not enough, Obama needs to get out there and tell Americans we must move forward with nuclear power to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. We also need to drill for our own oil, but that’s another post.

Spiraling costs, safety concerns and opposition from environmentalists have kept utilities from building any new nuclear power plants since the early 1980s. The 104 nuclear reactors now in operation in 31 states provide about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. They are responsible for 70 percent of the power from pollution-free sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric dams that Obama has championed as a way to save the environment and economy at the same time.

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  1. […] The mysterious part of all of this is that President Obama’s budget also adds $36 billion to guarantee loans for new nuclear plants. […]

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