WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a press conference today, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced finalized government support for constructing the nation’s first new nuclear reactors in almost forty years. The $3.46 billion loan guarantee to Georgia Power and the $3.05 billion loan guarantee to Oglethorpe Power Company will enable the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Plant Vogtle Nuclear Generating Station near Waynesboro, Ga. The U.S. Department of Energy currently has a July 31, 2014, deadline to finalize a separate loan guarantee for $1.8 billion with a third Vogtle partner, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.
Below, is a statement of Friends of the Earth’s Nuclear Campaigner Katherine Fuchs, responding to the announcement:
“Fewer than three years have passed since the tragedy at Fukushima demonstrated that nuclear reactors can never be safe. Yet the president and Energy Secretary are ignoring its lessons. The tragedy forced more than 80,000 people from their homes and left an area, roughly the size of Connecticut, uninhabitable. Despite the dangers nuclear reactors pose and the lack of any sustainable solutions for nuclear waste disposal, President Obama’s commitment to nuclear energy succeeds only in condemning future generations to live with the fallout.
By insuring reactors American taxpayers are forced to underwrite a financial gamble that Wall Street deems too risky. A high rate of construction cancellation and history of massive cost overruns have caused Wall Street investors to shun reactor projects. Nuclear reactors are too risky to finance, too slow to build and too dangerous to be part of a meaningful energy solution.”
February 21, 2014 Posted by aletho | "Hope and Change", Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, United States Department of Energy, Vogtle Electric Generating Plant | Leave a comment
The Department of Energy wants to give the Southern Company a nuclear power loan guarantee at better interest rates than you can get on a student loan. And unlike a home mortgage, there may be no down payment.
The terms DOE is offering the builders of the Vogtle atomic reactors have only become partially public through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
We still may not know all the details.
SACE has challenged the $8.33 billion loan guarantee package announced by President Obama in 2010.
The documents show the DOE has intended to charge the Southern a credit subsidy fee of one to 1.5%, far below the rates you would be required to pay for buying a house or financing an education.
On a package 15 times bigger than what the federal government gave the failed solar company Solyndra, Southern would be required to pay somewhere between $17 million and $52 million. Advocates argue the fee is so low that it fails to adequately take into account the financial risks of the project. Numerous financial experts have estimated the likely fail rate for new nuclear construction to be at 50% or greater.
Furthermore, since a primary lender would be the Federal Financing Bank, the taxpayer is directly on the hook. Guaranteed borrowings are not supposed to exceed 70% of the project’s projected costs, but it’s unclear what those costs will actually turn out to be, as the public has been given no firm price tag on the project.
There is apparently no cash down payment being required of Southern as it seems the loan is designed to be secured with the value of the reactors themselves, whatever that turns out to be. In the unlikely event they are finished, liability from any catastrophe will revert to the public once a small private fund is exhausted.
Southern wanted the terms of the DOE offer kept secret, and we still don’t know everything about it. But in March, a federal circuit court judge ordered that the public had a right to know at least some of the details.
Apparently no final documents have actually been signed between Southern and the DOE. The Office of Management & Budget has reportedly balked at offering the nuke builder such generous terms. Southern has reportedly balked at paying even a tiny credit fee.
Construction at the Vogtle site has already brought on delays focused on the use of sub-standard concrete and rebar steel. The projected price tag—whatever it may be—has risen as much as $900 million in less than a year.
Southern and its Vogtle partners are in dispute with Westinghouse and the Shaw Company, two of the reactors’ primary contractors. Georgia ratepayers have already been stuck with $1.4 billion in advance payments being charged to their electric bills. Far more overruns are on their way.
The Vogtle project is running somewhat parallel with two reactors being built at V.C. Summer in South Carolina, where $1.4 billion was already spent by the end of 2011. Delays are mounting and cost overruns are also apparently in the hundreds of millions.
Southern and Summer’s builders both claim they can finance these projects without federal guarantees. But exactly how they would do that remains unclear.
Two older reactors now licensed at the Vogtle site were originally promised to cost $150 million each, but came in at $8.9 billion for the pair. The project’s environmental permits are being challenged in court over claims the Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to account for safety lessons from the Fukushima disaster.
The terms of the guarantees are now apparently being scrutinized by the Office of Management & Budget, which reports to a White House that may be gun-shy over new construction guarantees due to bad publicity from the Solyndra fiasco.
The Nuclear Information & Resource Service has already facilitated more than 10,500 e-mails sent directly to DOE Secretary Chu.
You might ask: why should the builders of nuclear power reactors get better terms than students struggling to pay for college or working families trying to buy a home?
At least the home buyers can get private liability insurance, which the nuke builders can’t.
If mounting grassroots opposition can stop this package, it’s possible no new reactors will ever be built in the US.
So send the OMB and DOE a copy of your mortgage or student loan statement.
Demand that before they finance any more nukes, they drop your own payment to 1%, just like they’re offering the reactor pushers. Also demand the right to buy a home without a down payment.
See how far you get, and then make sure Vogtle goes no farther.
July 3, 2012 Posted by aletho | Economics, Nuclear Power | Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Management & Budget, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Southern Company, Vogtle, Vogtle Electric Generating Plant | Leave a comment
The Nuclear Menace
As the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves a construction/operating license for two new reactors in Georgia, alarming reports from Japan indicate the Fukushima catastrophe is far from over.
Thousands of tons of intensely radioactive spent fuel are still in serious jeopardy. Radioactive trash and water are spewing into the environment. And nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen reports that during the string of disasters following March 11, 2011′s earthquake and tsunami, Fukushima 1′s containment cap may actually have lifted off its base, releasing dangerously radioactive gasses and opening a gap for an ensuing hydrogen explosion.
There are some two dozen of these Mark I-style containments currently in place in the US.
Newly released secret email from the NRC also shows its Commissioners were in the dark about much of what was happening during the early hours of the Fukushima disaster. They worried that Tokyo might have to be evacuated, and that airborne radiation spewing across the Pacific could seriously contaminate Alaska.
Reactor pushers have welcomed the NRC’s approval of the new Westinghouse AP-1000 design for Georgia’s Vogtle. Two reactors operate there now, and the two newly approved ones are being funded with $8.3 billion in federally guaranteed loans and state-based rate hikes levied in advance of the reactors’ being completed.
NRC Chair Gregory Jazcko made the sole no vote on the Vogtle license, warning that the proposed time frame would not allow lessons from Fukushima to be incorporated into the reactors’ design.
The four Commissioners voting to approve have attacked Jaszco in front of Congress for his “management style,” but this vote indicates the problem is certainly more rooted in attitudes toward reactor safety.
The approval is the first for a new construction project since 1978. The debate leading up to it stretched out for years. Among other things, the Commission raised questions about whether the AP1000 can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Even now the final plans are not entirely complete. Only two other US reactors—in neighboring South Carolina—are even in the pre-construction phase. As in Georgia, South Carolina consumers are being forced to pay for the reactors as they are being built. Should they not be completed, or suffer disaster once they are, the state’s ratepayers will be on the hook.
The industry is heralding the Vogtle approval as a major boon to the “Nuclear Renaissance.” But it comes alongside the announcement that all 17 reactors owned by the Tokyo Electric Company are shut, as are all but two of Japan’s 50-plus nukes.
Germany has decided to shut all its nukes by 2022. New reactor financing in Great Britain is under legal attack, as it is in Florida. India has announced that in 2011 it led the world in new green energy projects. China has yet to make its future nuclear commitments clear in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. And no American utility is readily available to follow in Vogtle’s path, with operating reactors in Vermont and New York’s Indian Point under fierce governmental attack. Florida’s Crystal River is beset by huge bills for faulty repair work, and may be headed for permanent shutdown. Both currently licensed reactors at California’s San Onofre are closed following radioactive leaks, and a disturbing pattern of tube holes in newly installed steam generators has surfaced at a number of reactors across the US.
But the biggest shock waves this week were caused by Tama University Professor Hiroshi Tasaka, a key advisor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan during the Fukushima disaster.
Warning that Fukushima is “far from over,” Tasaka said official assurances of the complex’s alleged safety were based on “groundless optimism.” Tasaka cited more than 1500 fuel rods dangerously exposed to the open atmosphere at Unit Four alone. The waste problem has gone nationwide, he said in a newly published book, as “the storage capacities of the spent fuel pools at the nation’s nuclear power plants are reaching their limits,”
Tasaka’s statements came as a new temperature spike unexpectedly stuck Fukushina Unit Two. For reasons not yet clear, heat releases in excess of 158 degrees Farenheit spewed from the core, prompting Tokyo Electric to pump in more water and boric acid meant to damp down an apparently on-going chain reaction. Prof. Tasaka and others warn that this in turn will contribute to spreading still more radiation into the water table and oceans.
With bitter debate raging in Japan, the US and elsewhere over the killing power of Fukushima’s emissions, the certification of a new US reactor design may someday be remembered as a bizarre epitaph for the 20th century’s most expensive failed technology.
Without state ratepayers and federal taxpayers being forced to foot the bill, new reactor construction in the US is going nowhere.
And without a final resolution to the on-going horrors at Fukushima, the entire planet, from Tokyo to Alaska to Georgia and beyond, remains at serious radioactive risk.
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission Ignores Fukushima, Green-Lights First New Reactors in 34 Years (my.firedoglake.com)
or go to
From the Archives
By Zouheir Andraos | Al-Akhbar | December 8, 2014
Occupied Haifa – As Israel increases its economic stranglehold on 1948 Palestinians, its racist policies extended to banning them from raising chickens and growing potatoes. This was after the closure of clothes workshops, which were transferred to Jordan, and other similar actions.
As the economic persecution against Palestinians continues, the Israeli Agriculture Ministry recently decided to prevent 1948 Palestinians from raising chickens and thus producing eggs, claiming this department as an exclusive right for Jews in cooperative villages (moshav). Eggs produced by Palestinian establishments disappeared from the market in a matter of days and were replaced by Israeli eggs produced at moshavs (Israeli agricultural settlements) built on the ruins of Palestinian villages destroyed in the Nakba, or the Catastrophe.
Authorities in Tel Aviv also issued a decree banning “Arabs” from growing potatoes, succumbing to the pressure of Israeli potato farmers. The authorities had discovered that growing potatoes is cheap and was an important source of income for Palestinians. These two steps are further proof of the extent of the occupation’s institutional racism. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Palestinian home and market attacked by settlers from illegal settlement of Beit Hadassah June 29, 2015
- Israel once again commits an act of state piracy in the Mediterranean June 29, 2015
- Khader Adnan, an example for all prisoners and Palestinians June 29, 2015
- Shuhada Street 2015: Suffering from Israeli propaganda and ongoing military closure June 29, 2015
- Israeli soldier attempts to arrest Palestinian, activists intervene June 27, 2015
TagsAfghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar al-Qaeda American Civil Liberties Union American Israel Public Affairs Committee Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Egypt EU Europe European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian prisoners in Israel Police Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela War Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,186,555 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
Recent Aletho News Posts
- The Parushim: A Secret Episode in American Zionist History July 3, 2015
- Freedom Flotilla: ‘Tasering my friend Charlie was an act of terrorism’ July 2, 2015
- Tsipras and the Vampires July 2, 2015
- New Study by Leading Authority on Public Health: Fluoridating the Water “Does Not Reduce Cavities” July 2, 2015
- Israel Continues to Cripple Gaza with its Sea Blockade July 2, 2015
- Africa Must Leave the ICC July 2, 2015
- Obama Signs Legislation Inhibiting Boycott of Israel July 2, 2015
- Britain approved £4mn Israel arms sales in the months after Gaza war July 2, 2015
- The West’s Voluntary Blindness on Syria July 2, 2015
- Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal link with Qatari royal family July 2, 2015
- Hillary Clinton’s Failed Libya ‘Doctrine’ July 2, 2015
- Von Hippel’s “Really Good Idea” to Resolve the Nuclear Impasse Was Actually Iran’s Idea First July 2, 2015
- Both Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity July 2, 2015
- ‘Donbas is Returning to its Russian Roots’ July 1, 2015
- FBI Claims it Doesn’t Have to Share Records with Justice Dept. Inspector General July 1, 2015
- After 8 Years of Delay, EPA Finally Agrees to Test Dangers of Monsanto’s Favorite Pesticide July 1, 2015
- Scientists Baffled After Finding 10th Century Medicine that Kills Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Superbug’ July 1, 2015
- New Study Confirms: Sugary Drinks Kill 184,000 People Each Year July 1, 2015
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.