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DOE Receives 19 Loan Guarantee Applications for Nuclear Power Plant Construction

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has received 19 Part I applications from 17 electric power companies for federal loan guarantees to support the construction of 14 nuclear power plants in response to its June 30, 2008 solicitation. The applications reflect the intentions of those companies to build 21 new reactors, with some applications covering two reactors at the same site.

All five reactor designs that have been certified, or are currently under review for possible certification, by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are represented in the Part I applications. DOE also has received Part I applications from two companies for federal loan guarantees to support two different Front-End Nuclear Facility Projects.

The nuclear industry is asking the Department to provide loan guarantees in the amount of $122 billion, which significantly exceeds the $18.5 billion in loan guarantees available under the June 30, 2008 Nuclear Power Facilities solicitation. The aggregate estimated construction cost of these 14 projects is $188 billion.

If all projects are constructed, they would add 28,800 MW of base load electric generating capacity. DOE also has been asked to provide loan guarantees in the amount of $4 billion for Front End Nuclear Facility Projects, which exceeds the $2 billion in loan guarantees made available for this type of project in the June 30, 2008 solicitation.

The authority to offer and enter into loan guarantees for nuclear power projects and front end nuclear facilities was granted by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008. Similar authority was also granted under that Act for loan guarantees for renewable energy and fossil energy projects for an overall total of up to $38.5 billion. Pursuant to this authority, DOE issued solicitations on June 30, 2008 for up to $30.5 billion for energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced transmission and distribution technologies; nuclear power facilities; and advanced nuclear facilities for the ‘front-end’ of the nuclear fuel cycle. DOE issued a subsequent solicitation on September 22, 2008 for up to $8 billion to support coal-based power generation, industrial gasification and advanced coal gasification facilities projects that employ advanced technologies that avoid, reduce or sequester emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.



Good - we'll need all the electricity we can get when we shift to EEStor ultracap powered vehicles & bikes and whatever else can be powered by an EEStor ultracaps. Now we need to get Yucca up and running. ...ejj...


Good - we'll introduce more dangerous weapons material and radioactive waste to the world. Oh, and it'll make Iran and other nations pursuing the nuclear option look like they have legitimate reason. Not a probelm with wind, wave, solar, and geothermal.

Kit P

So Elliot, you think Duke Energy has a secret program to build nuke weapons and sell them to terrorist?

So Elliot, how is all that 'wind, wave, solar, and geothermal' working out for you in your make believe world.


Any move to full licensing of these long range fission projects should be accompanied by a clear and open program to develop alternatives. These alternatives include the standard portfolio of solar, wind, tidal and geothermal but also the emerging field of low energy/temperature nuclear reactions. There has been significant progress in this field and hundreds of independent laboratory confirmations of the phenomenon. Particular progress has been made in the area of H2 catalyzed to resonant-transfer plasmas yielding heat.

While new nuclear plants may be needed to meet projected baseload requirements in the 10-20 year term - a special emphasis should be made now to fund R&D specific to commercialization of LENR power sources. Some investigators into these phenomena claim to be ready to introduce commercial products now. It would be foolish to publicly fund long range large scale fission energy with its attendant political and waste issues in light of current progress with LENR.

A coherent plan would be to build/public-fund the minimum number of fission plants needed to bridge energy requirements to meet twenty year demand. A simultaneous program to develop and implement LENR pilot projects (e.g. distributed generation) would provide the transition to new, clean (non-radiative) energy sources to the benefit of the U.S. and global populations.


Any move to heavily fund long range programs to develop alternatives should be accompanied by a clear and open program to develop fission projects.
This idea that funding "all of the above" will handicap each of our own favorite enery sources is getting tiresome.
I agree with gr's thoughtful post but want to get a word in before the rants and shallow posts start.
We are way behind in nuclear power - to say more will justify Iran is foolish.


" is all that 'wind, wave, solar, and geothermal' working out for you in your make believe world."

Kit P,

You need to go back to sarcasm school. This is a poor example of snide cynicism.

Kit P


Actually I am a skeptic. It was elliot injected snide cynicism and sarcasm into discussion. I was only showing elliot respect by imitating his style.

This all make scj a hypocrite with poor understanding of the meaning of words derived from Greek philosophers.

I do not question scj altruistic motives just suggesting he is a typical example of clueless in California resulting in failure on his part to accomplish his goal.

Now if sjc or elliot can justify their remarks demeaning the character of the people who make electricity and nuke loan applications based on endangering folks with spent fuel or diverting material to weapons, I will be happy recant.

I will again remind sjc that nuclear power produces 20 % of US electricity and renewable energy ‘other’ is less than 1%. Folks like sjc have been making claims for thirty years about wind and solar. Still waiting. I am not the least skeptical about generating electricity with geothermal or biomass because they have been working for a long time.



In the last two years, the vastly improved performance of the current nuclear fleet has created substantial interest in the possible construction of new nuclear plants. The NRC has restructured its reactor regulation organization to prepare for more design certification reviews and for possible combined license applications. We are currently reviewing Westinghouse’s application for certification of the AP1000 design, an upgraded version of the AP600. We have also been informed of several vendors’ intentions to submit certification applications for five designs within the next several years — GE’s natural circulation ESBWR, Framatome-ANP’s SWR-1000 boiling water reactor, AECL’s ACR-700 (an advanced CANDU concept), GA’s GT-MHR (a modular, gas-cooled reactor), and Westinghouse’s IRIS, a small integral PWR. And we are expecting to receive applications for early site permits from three electric generation companies – Dominion, Exelon, and Entergy – all of which will involve sites on which reactors are currently operating.

The U.S. Department of Energy is sponsoring the Nuclear Power 2010 program, the objective of which is to license and build a new nuclear power plant in the U.S. by the end of this decade. Although the NRC is not involved in this developmental program, we are following DOE’s progress with great interest, since one of the most important steps in achieving its objective would be the submission of an application to the NRC for a combined operating license for an advanced reactor design. The next few years are likely to be busy and challenging as we once again turn our attention to licensing new plants.

Henry Gibson

The CANDU 600 reactor has been built on time and under budget in China and else where. This can also be done in the US. Or perhaps, Canada can build a few right on the border and sell the power to NYC and California through DC transmission lines. California already has an upgraded DC transmission line from the Columbia river. Canada should also build a CANDU at the Intermountain Power project site in Utah where there is also a DC line going to California.

The currently estimated number of natural radio-active Potassium explosions in a human and some other animals is about 25 per pound per second. Almost no one knows this, but it was about twice this rate when life started on earth. The cells of the human body can deal with this natural internal radio-activity very well because it seems to cause no detectable deaths even if multiplied by a factor of a hundred. Humans have lived with this ever since they existed upon the earth. All other life forms have also existed with this radio-activity and far more that is always comming from the earth and sky.

Every day brings exposure to statistically far more fatal dangers to human existence especially micro-organisms not to mention automobiles and stairways.

People think that they would be free of radio-active exposure if man had not invented fission or X-rays, but humans have always lived with radio-activity built right into the cells.

Compared to a Coal burning power plant, nuclear reactors give off far LESS radio-activity. At the fence line of the reactor a radiation detector would indicate a much higher level comming from a granite rock or even perhaps a person.

Because the collector for nuclear power is much smaller than wind, solar and geothermal energy it is also much cheaper and produces far less CO2 in its construction.

In spite of all the talk about nuclear waste, there is not much of it, All of the fuel used in a CANDU 600 reactor could actually be safely delivered by two taxi-cab visits each day. It is in the range of 200 tons a year or about a thousand pounds a day. The fission products actually produced amount to about four pounds a day. When removed from the reactor the fuel still has at least %98 of its total energy left in it. A breeder system could get all of it.

Two hundred tons of uranium will fit in a cube seven feet on a side. Several of these could fit into a single coal car. The actual fuel bundles take up two to four times the space if not compacted.

In spite of all talk and conversation to the contrary there is in operation a known ultra safe way to store this partially used fuel that is only being used for military fuels but only lacks a few longer tunnels to accomodate power reactor fuels. It is called WIPP.

A CANDU 600 using thorium with an onsite reprocessing system can operate with a thorium input of 1600 pounds a year.

All concerns about the safe transportation and containment of partially used nuclear fuels is merely being uniformed at best and outright lying at the worst for political posturing to stay in office or to force ones own uninformed view on others.

Propane transportation on the highways or rails can kill far more people in less time. And has.

The abolition of the commercial manufacturing of cigarettes would save many more from early demise. Cigaretes put more radio-activity from the soil into the body.

Renewable energy is still far too expensive compared to nuclear for the bad US economy to pay for it. The mandated use of renewable energy of any form is a drain upon the taxpayer in the form high charges added to the inevitable subsidies paid out of the taxpayers pockets.

The taxes paid on the sale of nuclear power far outweigh the total investment of taxes in nuclear fission research.

Funds for damage from a reactor failure are collected from the revenue in a special fund not paid for by the general taxpayer. Funds are also collected for the cost of storing the partially used fuels forever. They are also collected for cleaning up the reactor site.

Hurricane areas do not pay special funds in to goverment coffers for recovery. Dam and levee failure are not funded to give recovery to those who are damaged.


@ elliot:

Okay clueless....why don't you go to Europe then and tell them to stop building new nuclear reactors? In addition clueless - why don't you do a little research and learn how difficult it is to weaponize uranium? It's very complicated and very costly. Nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is radically different than nuclear weapons for war.

Bill Young

Henry Gibson,

New Brunswick is currently evaluating installing an additional CANDU at Point Lepreau. The province doesn't particularly need the added power but they want to export more electricity to the US. Point Lepreau is very near the Maine border and they already export part of the power to the northeast.

The Canadian government recognizes that New England is NIMBY on virtually all forms of power generation and is about to be in deep doodoo. This provides the Canadians with a good opportunity.


Kit P

CANDU is no longer on the NRC list for design certification. COL applications for 4 reactor in the near Canada have been filed in the US.


Just another case of corporate welfare in the US.

A 50 year old technology that still can't even closely stand on it's own. Externalized waste costs are now 100 billion over budget and counting in the US. These newer reactors are economically feasible only in light of carbon costs. Read any of the studies including the MIT future of nuclear power study. The older ones were built basically by gov't subsidy and on the backs of rate payers.

In 2006-2007, an equivalent of 2 1000MW nuclear reactor's worth of power of wind was put in for a cost of only 9 billion in the US. Extrapolating from that gives a cost of around 95 billion for an equal amount of electricity production. Production costs were around 0.96c/KWh (EIA 2005) or in other words, little more than half that of nuclear production costs.

In today's economic environment, business stays away from nuclear if it can help it. The Price-Anderson indemnity act was suppose to be temporary until private industry would take up the reigns of insuring the reactors. No takers. Similar regulatory indulgencies exist everywhere nuclear power exists.

Today credit is even tighter for capital developement and reactors require huge amounts of capital. With that picture, private capital for these reactors will be slim to none. It should also be kept in mind that, new economic pressure now exists which now renders past projections obsolete. Base power requirements will not be as high as thought as before. Building in such an environment, would create huge debts for the utilities. I suggest looking up the case of the Darlington plant for OPG and it's problems.

New reactor designs should be built and tested but that was the point of the nuclear 2010 program and others from the DOE. To promote the feasibility. If afterwards, it proves to be economically feasible for the utilities then by all means, but for them to continuously ask for money, no. The DOE already pays for 50%+ of the licensing of reactors. How much more of a subsidy should these jokers get?

Wind puts in power far more cheaply than nuclear. The extra could easily be used to increase the portion from large scale storage systems.

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