US NEWS: --SENATE APPROPRIATORS APPROVED $50 BILLION IN LOAN GUARANTEE authority in fiscal 2009 for new nuclear power plants and other clean energy technology projects. The appropriators approved the provision January 27 as part of a stimulus package intended to create more jobs and reinvigorate the economy. A report accompanying the legislation, S. 336, said the loan guarantee authorization would supplement the levels previously approved for the loan guarantee program. It said the committee was providing additional authorization because of the "strong interest in the program and the large number of pending applications."
Under the program, there is currently $18.5 billion available for power reactor projects, which the industry says would cover construction of no more than three new nuclear units, and $2 billion available for nuclear fuel cycle facilities. DOE said it initially received 19 applications to build 21 new reactors, but the department hasn't disclosed how many of those applicants completed the second part of the filing process by last month's deadline. House appropriators did not include a similar provision to expand loan guarantees for nuclear projects in their version of the stimulus legislation.
Differences between the House and Senate versions would have to be ironed out by members of a congressional conference committee.