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Scientists warn on huge taxpayer bill for USA’s nuclear subsidies

If the industry is able to secure federal approval to build the 31 new reactors it is expected to request, UCS found that total proposed subsidies could be worth from $65 billion to as much as $147 billion.

Senate Currently Proposing $40 Billion to More Than $140 Billion in Subsidies for Nuclear Industry, New Analysis FindsNew Subsidies for Constructing Reactors Would Shift Financial Risks to Taxpayers Union of Concerned Scientists WASHINGTON (July 1, 2010) – Massive government subsidies proposed in two pending Senate climate and energy bills would shift the risk of financing and constructing new nuclear reactors from the industry to U.S. taxpayers, according to an analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Such subsidies would disadvantage more cost-effective, less risky approaches to curbing the heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming, including energy efficiency programs and renewable energy technologies, the group said.

The UCS analysis is the first to quantify the most significant subsidies for the nuclear industry proposed in the American Power Act (APA) and the American Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA). Those subsidies include expanded federal loan guarantees, reduced accelerated depreciation periods, a 10 percent investment tax credit, expanded production tax credits, and expanded federal regulatory risk insurance……….If the industry is able to secure federal approval to build the 31 new reactors it is expected to request, UCS found that total proposed subsidies could be worth from $65 billion to as much as $147 billion.

“The federal government certainly has an important role to play to ensure innovative, low-carbon technologies can be deployed on a significant scale and become commercially viable,” said Ellen Vancko, UCS’s nuclear energy and climate change project manager. “But it makes no sense to throw massive subsidies at one technology, especially a mature one like nuclear power, which has a long history of cost overruns, cancellations and bailouts, and already stands to receive billions in government subsidies for new plants.”  …..

“Taxpayers and ratepayers have had to bail out the nuclear industry twice – once in the 1970s and 1980s, and again in the 1990s – and shouldn’t be asked to do it again,”

Senate Currently Proposing $40 Billion to More Than $140 Billion in Subsidies for Nuclear Industry, New Analysis Finds | Union of Concerned Scientists

July 2, 2010 - Posted by | politics, USA | , , ,

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