Feb 17, 2010

WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will announce a loan guarantee next week for Southern Co (SO.N) to build and operate two new nuclear reactors, the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades, an administration official said on Friday.   Location is in Georgia, at Vogtle plant, shown at the left.

The loan guarantees, meant to show Obama's commitment to nuclear energy as he fights to pass a climate change bill through Congress, would be for the first nuclear power plant to be built in nearly three decades, the official said.

"That financial commitment will be made for the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors at a Southern Company plant in Burke, Georgia," he said.

"The president has long believed that nuclear power should be part of our energy mix -- that's why he has advocated for comprehensive energy and climate legislation that leverages all of our energy sources, including nuclear, to transition to a clean energy economy," the official said.

He did not give a dollar figure for the loan guarantee. [Announcement made today 2/15/10 put the value at $8b]

Obama, has tried to reach out to Republicans who are skeptical about aspects of his proposed energy policy by emphasizing the role of nuclear power in the country's future energy mix.

Citing information provided by the company, the official said the project would generate about 3,000 construction jobs on site and roughly 850 permanent positions to operate the reactors. About 1.4 million people will be served by the power from the facility, he said.

Construction is expected to start in several years after NRC approval of the construct-operate license (COL).


  1. Nuclear power makes me nervous, as it does all the generation that learned to hide under desks at school, but I'm trying to set an example as an imminently governable citizen, so put me in the Supporters column.

  2. We need this, though we really needed it some time ago. Hope this helps us head off some of our future energy problems.

  3. Ken,

    I'm assuming that you're on board. So correct me if I'm wrong. I have mixed feelings, but appreciate that the technology has moved forward in recent years and that the opposition has made private financing problematic. So I'm willing to go along if there is oversight to assure that the loan guarantees aren't abused.


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)