Petition Asks Obama Administration To Stop Loans To Build Nuclear Reactors

Aerial view of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in October 2011 (Photo credit: Charles C Watson Jr)

Aerial view of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in October 2011 (Photo credit: Charles C Watson Jr)

The leader of a group opposed to nuclear power has launched an online petition asking the Obama administration to stop making taxpayer-funded loans to build new nuclear power plant reactors.

Michael Mariotte, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, gathered more than 2,000 signatures on his petition at CredoMobilize in its first day.

It asks President Barack Obama and Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz to reject a conditional loan to pay for two new nuclear reactors at the Vogtle site in Georgia.

“It is clear that the utilities involved simply want a sweetheart deal for that loan that would put more than $8 billion tax dollars at substantial risk,” Mariotte’s petition says.

The reactors, which will cost billions to complete, are already behind schedule and may never prove to be a cost-effective energy source.

“For ratepayers, this is a real pick-your-poison situation: Either pull the plug now and ‘eat’ an average cost per reactor of one or two billion dollars already sunk into each reactor … or let the reactors proceed and pay $10 billion or more per project in excess costs over the life of the reactors,” said economic analyst Mark Cooper of the the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment.

“In the face of escalating nuclear construction costs, cheap natural gas, rising competition from increasingly inexpensive wind and other renewables, falling consumer demand, and a heightened focus on energy efficiency, the economics of these new nuclear reactor projects could not be more abysmal for ratepayers,” he added. “The fact that advance cost recovery for nuclear reactors shifts the risk of construction from stockholders to ratepayers is the one and only thing that is keeping these uneconomical reactor projects alive today.”

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