Energy Dept. Offered Better Fee Rate to Company Building New Nuclear Reactors than Students Get for Their Loans
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Plant Vogtle (photo: (Southern Nuclear)
Utility giant the Southern Company received a generous loan guarantee from the Obama administration as part of a plan to build the first new commercial nuclear reactors in decades.
To help the Southern Company build the new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) agreed to charge the utility a credit subsidy fee ranging between 0.5% and 1.5%. This rate, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), is much lower than what DOE usually charges other companies.
In fact, it is so low that college students pay more in origination fees on their federal student loans. SACE discovered this information after battling the Energy Department for two years to get the agency to release documents pertaining to Plant Vogtle.
The Obama administration has offered $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for the project. Southern Company, the largest shareholder in the consortium planning to build the reactors, could wind up paying a credit subsidy cost of between only $17 million and $52 million, greatly reducing the company’s risk.
To date, the utility company has not yet officially accepted the loan guarantees.
To Learn More:
U.S. Agency Gave Nuclear Industry a Sweet Deal, Documents Reveal (by Matthew Cardinale, Inter Press Service)
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approves First New Reactors in 33 Years (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Obama Subsidies to Nuclear Power Industry Put Taxpayers at Risk (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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