The Huffington Post - Yesterday, President Obama announced that the Energy department will provide an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to the Southern Co. for its proposed nuclear power plant near Augusta, GA. "The loan guarantee program for new nuclear power plants not only will further the nation's commitment to clean energy, Obama said, "but also will assist in creating jobs in American communities." Unfortunately, nuclear energy isn't safe or clean and it's too costly for the nation.
News coverage has been mostly supportive and, in some cases, bordering on cheerleading. In his blog for the Atlantic magazine, Editor Daniel Indiviglio laid out "five reasons to cheer Obama's ambition." Let's take a closer look at these "five reasons."
Reason #1: "Nuclear power is a known quantity. The U.S. has been successfully using this energy source for a very long time."
Nuclear power is certainly well known to Wall Street, which despite its recent debacles, has refused to fund power reactors for more than 30 years because of their financial risks. Reactor construction costs climbed as high as 380 percent above expectations during the boom period for nuclear in the 1970s. Nuclear investors eventually wrote off about $17 billion. Consider the 1979 Three Mile Island Accident, in which TMI investors lost about $2 billion in about an hour, when the reactor core started to melt. Nuclear energy has depended primarily on the financial burden being born by the tax payer and rate payer. This is hardly a success story. Read more.