FutureTracker| The last orders for nuclear fuel reactors in America were cancelled in 1973. Yesterday, President Obama embraced nuclear power as a clean energy source, announcing that the Energy Department would help fund two nuclear plants in Georgia.
President Obama is courting Republican votes on a larger energy bill, at the same time he’s infuriating environmental groups long opposed to any form of nuclear power in America. It’s worth noting that the loan guarantees were authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and represent the first expenditure against the program, passed over five years ago.
Fee negotiations, paid by borrowers to banks and the federal government, not lawsuits from environmental groups, appear to be the source of delay in moving forward.
The Energy Department is negotiating with potential borrowers for three other projects, two of which could win guarantees soon. The Scana Corporation and Santee Cooper want to build a nuclear plant near Jenkinsville, S.C., and UniStar is planning a reactor in southern Maryland, adjacent to the Calvert Cliffs reactors. A third project, in Texas, is in some doubt because of rising cost estimates and a lawsuit filed by the municipal utility serving San Antonio against its partner in the project, NRG of Princeton, N.J. via NYTimes