Saturday, January 30, 2010


By Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times

Obama acts to ease way to construct new reactors.

The Obama administration moved vigorously on two fronts Friday to promote nuclear power, proposing a tripling of federal loan guarantees for new projects and appointing a high-level commission to study what to do with nuclear waste.

Administration officials confirmed that their 2011 federal budget request next week would raise potential loan guarantees for the projects to more than $54 billion, from $18.5 billion.

A new Energy Department panel with examine a vastly expanded list of options for nuclear waste, including a new kind of nuclear reactor that would use some of it.

The current loan guarantees were provided in the 2005 energy act bt have not been disbursed because of bureaucratic delays. The Energy Department has sai it would start issuing those soon. Because the loan guarantees are supposed to cover 80 percent of contruction costs, the current amount of $18.5 billion would cover only about three projects.

Opponents have complaine that loan guarantees for projects that cannot attract commercial investment amount to "nuclear socialism."

Oh, I think Obama should have done that long time ago. Nuclear energy is pretty "GREEN" and has the potential of employing a lot of people acrossing the board - politicians, bureaucrats, professional, craftmen, clerks and laborers. Of course, it is NOT 100% percent safe. But, remember, our lives are not 100% safe either. There are always risks that need to be dealt with. But, risks are everywhere all the time. As an employee of power industry, I would rather visit a Nuclear Power Station than a Fossil one. No one knows exact what are in a fossil power plant. But, almost everyone knows exactly what are in a nuclear station. It has been recorded and watched all the time from various regulatory agencies.

Well, based on the math included, USA now should be able to fund 9 new reactors with government loan guarantees under Obama. It is far off compared to 45 reactors proposed by John McCain. But, anyway, it is a good start. And I think, of course, it is good for me. It is good for improving the employment too. Above all, it is good for America.


sherah said...

I don't know very much about nuc. power plants. Is there still an issue with disposing of the waste or what happens to the waste?

Noel said...

Yes, the waste site was at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It supposed to collect all nuclear waste and stored there permanently deep into the mountain.

The Fed worked on this site for more than 15 years (I worked there for 10 months also.) After many billions spent, it was cancelled and abandoned when new administration came in power last year.

Right now, all the nuclear waste is stored right on the spot of each nuclear plant, eihter in the fuel spent pool (a big swimming pool) or in storage somewhere nearby. Here in Diablo Canyon Power Plant, CA, the waste is stored in the back hills. Mind you, this place is on an earth quake fault (Hosgri fault) and Yucca Mountain is not.

I guess people think it is much safer to scatter all over the place than store them into one place.