"It is time that the United States and European countries recognize advanced nuclear as a potentially crucial component of a clean-energy transition."
—Jessica Lovering, policy analyst; Max Luke policy associate; and Barry Brook, Breakthrough senior fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, Nov. 16, 2012
Electricity generated from nuclear energy can be competitive with other sources of baseload power. This is true even before including the cost impact of potential restrictions on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions at facilities that use fossil fuels.
The Department of Energy loan guarantee program is the most effective program for addressing one of the challenges facing new nuclear power plants: construction financing. Loan guarantees through DOE are available for 10 technologies—including nuclear energy—that reduce, sequester or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. Recipients of loan guarantees for nuclear energy projects pay a fee and cover all administrative costs incurred by the government program. There is no cost to the taxpayer. In fact, a disciplined process will help lower electricity prices for consumers and will actually make money for the U.S. Treasury.
Small Reactor Designs
Innovative small reactors will provide energy companies with an array of electricity production options. Their small size (typically fewer than 350 megawatts) and modular construction will allow these reactors to be built in a controlled factory setting, reducing the up-front financing challenge and matching a variety of needs for low-carbon energy.
Issues in Focus: Loan Guarantees for Clean Energy Development
This briefing paper provides facts about the clean energy investment incentives created by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, including taxpayer protections, benefits of loan guarantees and aspects of a successful program. They also contrast nuclear and renewable loan guarantees.
The Facts About DOE Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees through the U.S. Department of Energy are available for a diverse portfolio of 10 technologies—including nuclear energy—that will reduce, sequester or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. This one-pager describes how a disciplined process identifies creditworthy projects for government-backed loans, which contribute to lower project costs and lower electricity prices for consumers.
Myths & Facts About Economics and Financing
The economics and financing of new nuclear facilities often is misstated or misunderstood. These facts set the record straight on loan guarantees and much more.
Energy Subsidies Myths and Realities
A recent report from Roger Bezdek details U.S. federal government incentives for energy development from 1950 through 2010 totaling $837 billion (in 2010 dollars). These incentives are classified by energy source—nuclear, hydro, coal, oil, natural gas, renewables and geothermal. The report also includes distribution of these incentives among the different policy options and support mechanisms. [Subscription required.]
New Nuclear Plant Status
This table provides a summary of companies that have announced the intent to submit applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for new plant licenses.
Progress at Southern’s Vogtle Site
Visit Southern Co.’s website on plant Vogtle in Burke County, Ga., where approximately 2,300 employees are building the next generation of nuclear energy technology and nearly 10 million work hours have been logged to build two AP1000 reactors. The site includes regular updates, photos and video.
Progress at SCE&G’s V.C. Summer Site
Visit this website to learn about progress at SCE&G’s V.C. Summer station, where two AP1000 reactors are under construction. The site includes updates, slideshows and video.
Small Reactor Development Advances Energy, Environmental Benefits in New Markets
This fact sheet describes how small modular nuclear reactors can complement large-scale projects by expanding the level of deployment and application options for carbon-free nuclear energy.