Thursday, March 4, 2010

Utility expecting billions in taxpayer funding for two new nuclear reactors

On February 16th, President Obama offered Southern Company provisional loan guarantees for $3.4 billion to help it finance the construction of the first new nuclear reactors in the U.S. in over 30 years, Read about it at:

Mentioned in this press release, but not as widely reported, is the fact that the utility expects to get the actual multi-billion dollar loan for building the reactors from the Federal Government as well, specifically, from the little-known Federal Financing Bank (FFB).

Today, March 4th, Southern Company spokesperson Steven Higginbottom re-iterated to Etopia News by phone that “it’s our understanding that the funding will come from the Federal Financing Bank.”

Public funding to build the twin reactors, Vogtle 3 and 4, in not yet a done deal. U.S. Department of Treasury spokesperson Sandra Salstrom today told Etopia News by e-mail that:

“If and when a loan is ever made for this, it will be made public by the FFB.”

The consensus view on this seems to be that Southern Company is focusing its current efforts on negotiating the terms of the loan guarantee with the Department of Energy, making sure that the “credit subsidy” cost included in the project financing be as low as possible, and getting the licenses needed to construct and operate the proposed nuclear reactors.

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