Nov 13, 2009

Bi-partisan Support For Nuclear?

The Obama administration and leading congressional Democrats are wooing wavering Democrats and Republicans to back a climate bill by dangling federal tax incentives and new loan guarantees for nuclear power plant construction, even though financial analysts warn that huge capital needs and a history of cost overruns would constrain what many lawmakers hope will be a "nuclear renaissance."

The elements of a nuclear package under discussion include investment tax credits, a doubling or more of the existing $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees for new plants, giving nuclear plants access to a new clean energy development bank, federally financed training for nuclear plant workers, a new look at reprocessing nuclear fuel, and a streamlining of the regulatory approval process, according to corporate, congressional and administration sources.

Designed to put nuclear power on an even footing with wind and solar, the package comes on top of existing incentives, such as the production tax credit.

Pundits predict that between 5 and 50 nuclear power plants by 2030. I cannot think of a better solution to our climate change policies. Solar and Wind just do not have the same potential for large scale power plants, and their footprint will make the NIMBY philosophy hard to overcome.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the head-to-head out put comparison; nuclear wins. But in the long run, they're the wrong path. I think the key is mandated conservation, e.g., increased CAFE standards and widespread, small scale solar combined with conservation. Think of the job potential and the energy savings from millions of business and residential retrofits, including PV roofs.


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