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The US government-Obama administration can find $8.3 billion of “loan guarantees” to subsidize dangerous new nuclear build, but is unable to find needed funds to repair the Nation’s crumbling infrastructure, including 1 in 9 “Structurally Deficient” bridges and even more “Functionally Obsolete” ones (see NPR below). The US never had its promised New WPA (Works Progress Administration) to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure, while creating jobs. There is no rational explanation for this new nuclear build subsidy.

Rebuilding bridges and roads, i.e. basic infrastructure, throughout the US would not only save lives, it would spread new construction jobs throughout the US. There would be “pork barrel” for everyone and not just for the state of Georgia. Instead, the New Nuclear Pork Barrel will endanger lives in Georgia and elsewhere. A nuclear accident on the east coast of the US would impact Europe more than it would the US west coast.

NoNukesYall reports that half of those receiving government loan guarantees default. The US Congressional Budget Office, CBO, found that historically “many nuclear projects ran into problems with delays, cost overruns, and cancellations” and that frequently the “losses were absorbed by ratepayers or the government rather than the bondholders“. They say “the government” but it’s not the government that pays, it’s the TAXPAYER who PAYS!
I35 Bridge Collapse 4crop
Photo of collapsed US bridge, by Mike Wills via wikimedia

According to the CBO:
Historically, the U.S. nuclear industry has received considerable federal support and has been subject to extensive federal regulation. After an initial period of growth in the industry, many nuclear projects ran into problems with delays, cost overruns, and cancellations. In a few cases, those circumstances led to the bankruptcy of the project sponsor and to losses by some debt holders, although much more often losses were absorbed by ratepayers or the government rather than by bondholders. More recent experience from abroad suggests that the risk of cost overruns and delays remains a concern even with modern reactor designs.http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/122xx/doc12238/08-03-nuclearloans.pdf They fail to mention that in Finland and France not only are there delays and cost overruns but the projects have had to be stopped multiple times due to faulty, dangerous, construction. Additionally, the new US nuclear builds receiving the loan guarantees have already been characterized by similar frightening problems with concrete, rebar, and weldings. See more details here: http://www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/downloads/Vogtle_Fact_Sheet_-_Updated_Oct._2013_-_Final.pdf So, no, new nuclear probably won’t be safer than the old. Most probably it will be more dangerous, as well as costly to build. And, of course, in the event of a major accident, the US taxpayer will have to pick up much of the costs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price–Anderson_Nuclear_Industries_Indemnity_Act

No Nukes Yall observes that “Construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 is already 21 months behind schedule and $1.6 billion over budget. Wall Street has downgraded partners involved in Vogtle“. Furthermore, “there is no market for the power generated by Vogtle 3 and 4,” and so “how can U.S. taxpayers hope to be repaid for its loan?” Additionally, “Government loan guarantees have a dismal history with a 50% default rate. The loan guarantee program is under scrutiny because far less risky, less expensive programs than Southern Company’s Vogtle project have defaulted.” (see this and more from NoNukesYall at bottom of page)

It is important to note Obama’s connections to the nuclear industry via Exelon. See for instance: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/obamas-new-nuclear-8-3-billion-a-bad-day-for-america-a-bad-day-for-the-earth/ Exelon apparently owns the largest “fleet” of nuclear reactors in the USA and the third most in the world. Perhaps a “guaranteed” loan is up next for Exelon? An initial $6.5 billion “loan guarantee” is being approved, apparently TODAY, of a total of at least $8.3 billion:
UPDATE 1-U.S. to finalize loan guarantee for Southern Co nuclear plant
Posted:Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:05:37 GMT
WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The Obama administration will finalize about $6.5 billion in loan guarantees this week for the nation’s first two new nuclear reactors in three decades, ending years of delay.

[Our Non-Reuters Update note: Exelon has business interests with Japan’s Toshiba, at least in the construction of a proposed nuclear reactor in Saudi Arabia. Toshiba owns Westinghouse which is building the reactor for Southern Co. in Georgia, USA. So, there you go. There’s at least one connection between Obama and Toshiba: Exelon].

Meanwhile, states are trying to take up the slack on Federal failures with basic infrastructure repair.:
Many Agree Bridges Are Unsafe, But Few Agree On Fixes
by BRIAN NAYLOR, June 01, 2013 6:36 AM

As you head out for summer vacation, ponder this: There’s a 1 in 9 chance that the bridge you’re crossing has been deemed structurally deficient or basically in bad shape by the federal government.

The collapse of the I-5 bridge in Washington last week has once again raised questions about the state of the nation’s infrastructure. But there is no consensus on how to tackle the problem or how to pay for proposed solutions.

The I-5 bridge was not one of the nearly 67,000 bridges across the nation deemed structurally deficient. It was, however, on a somewhat larger list of bridges determined to be functionally obsolete, meaning it was designed to meet old engineering standards. Its traffic lanes were narrower than current requirements and its overhead clearance lower.” See complete transcript-article by US National Public Radio here: http://www.npr.org/2013/06/01/187599868/many-bridges-are-unsafe-but-few-agree-on-fixes

Two years ago, the NRC approved New Nuclear Build, with only one member voting against because of Fukushima!:
US regulators approve new nuclear reactors for first time in 34 years
Saturday, February 11, 2012
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved Thursday, in a four to one vote, two new nuclear reactors at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Georgia. This is the first time a new reactor has been approved since 1978, the year before the Three Mile Island accident
“. Read the rest here: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/US_regulators_approve_new_nuclear_reactors_for_first_time_in_34_years

What would happen if the citizens of all 50 US States seceded from Washington DC and formed a new Federal Government, which represented the people, someplace in the middle of the country? What good is a government who cannot even provide basic infrastructure and who robs its taxpayers to subsidize nuclear utilities? Were American citizens allowed to vote in a referendum on this important question of new nuclear build or on these subsidies? The 314 million citizens of the USA will be most likely be saddled with these billions of subsidies, along with the dangers of nuclear, and much of the cost of a major nuclear accident. The citizens of the UK, France and some other countries may also want to consider seceding from their national governments and creating new ones which represent the people. Note that there would have to be close to 100% citizen participation for this to work.

No Nukes Yall says there is until February 28th to sign their petition against the nuclear subsidies. However, according to the energy. gov web site, things are happening today:
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will travel to Waynesboro, Georgia to mark the issuance of approximately $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.
Media should arrive at the Vogtle 3 and 4 construction entrance and follow the signs.
7825 River Road
Waynesboro, GA 30830
1:00 PM EST, media set-up (Please arrive no later than 1:40 PM EST)
2:00 PM EST, ceremonies begin
Please call (404) 506-7676, or (800) 282-1696

So, to complain you should write Obama, your representatives, and any others directly this morning, TODAY, EST. Also, complaints might stop additional billions from being given away.

What this also means is that if the nuclear power plants are stopped for safety reasons then the taxpayer will have to pay for them anyway! But, how much will Fukushima cost?

From NoNukesYall.org:
Tell President Obama and Energy Secretary Moniz: “NO TAX $$$ FOR VOGTLE ~ Stop nuclear loan guarantees”
NEW DEADLINE — FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 Strong citizen pressure has contributed to a four-year delay of the $8.3 billion tax-funded loan program to build unneeded reactors in Georgia. Add your voice and this fresh message to thousands who have written and signed petitions opposing nuclear loan guarantees.
Vogtle NPP

BACKGROUND The so-called Nuclear Renaissance has shriveled even as solar and wind power are setting new records for falling prices and rapid growth. Despite there being no market for additional power from Vogtle, Southern Company and Georgia Power have plunged recklessly ahead with construction of two additional reactors on the Savannah River backed by abundant ratepayer financing granted to them by Georgia Public Service Commission.

Southern Company, Georgia Power and its Vogtle partners Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and City of Dalton are also banking on $8.3 billion in taxpayer-backed loans from the U.S. treasury which are still delayed after four years. Government loan guarantees have a dismal history with a 50% default rate. The loan guarantee program is under scrutiny because far less risky, less expensive programs than Southern Company’s Vogtle project have defaulted.

Nuclear Watch South analyzed 10 years of Georgia Power annual reports and found that, instead of the projected 4% annual electric sales growth, the company has experienced 0% sales growth from 2002-2012. Further, it was discovered that Georgia Power is not even using 46% of its already available electric-generating capacity. Southern Company’s 2013 4th quarter report filed on the eve of the last loan deadline shows deteriorating sales for three years in a row. If Vogtle’s power cannot be sold, how can U.S. taxpayers expect to be repaid for the loan??

Please read the message below, edit if you wish, and send TODAY. Your message will be sent straight to President Obama as well as to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Douglas Schultz who directs the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee designation and Congressmen Upton, Waxman and Sensenbrenner who serve on key committees overseeing the loan guarantee program. Copies of your e-mail will also be sent to Vogtle co-owners, Ogtlethorpe Power and MEAG Power“. http://www.nonukesyall.org/Action_Obama.html

No Nukes Sample Letter and form available online for submission at the link. It may be personalized-modified. However, we would recommend writing the Whitehouse and other government officials directly in the morning EST for expediency. Nonetheless, there is no reason that both cannot be sent.

Sample letter from http://www.nonukesyall.org/Action_Obama.html
Dear President Obama,

I am writing to request that you deny federal loan guarantees for construction of nuclear Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4 in Georgia.

Southern Company has publicly stated that it does not need federal loans in order to complete Vogtle. That being the case, it is unnecessary to commit taxpayers to a project with a troubled past and inherent risks. After four years of negotiation no agreement has been reached between Southern Company, its Vogtle partners and DOE regarding the requested $8.3 billion tax-funded loan guarantees for Vogtle. For these reasons, I request that further negotiations with Southern Company and its subsidiaries and partners cease.

Analysis of 10 years of Georgia Power SEC-filed annual report data shows that electricity sales are flat for both retail and wholesale markets for the 10-year period 2002-2012. Indeed, on the eve of the most recent loan guarantee deadline, Southern Company filed its 2013 4th quarter report, showing continued flat sales and a three-year downward trend in overall energy sales, a trend which is mirrored in national EIA data. The situation has resulted in Georgia Power currently being saddled with 46% unused capacity. See: http://www.nuclearwatchsouth.org/pdfs/Final_GPC%20Key%20Fin%20Stats.pdf

Since there is no market for the power generated by Vogtle 3 and 4, how can U.S. taxpayers hope to be repaid for its loan?

Construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 is already 21 months behind schedule and $1.6 billion over budget. Wall Street has downgraded partners involved in Vogtle. I urge you to protect the U.S. taxpayer from risky investment in Vogtle 3 and 4 by not offering federal loan guarantees to Southern Company, its subsidiaries or partners.

Respectfully submitted,

cc: Secretary Ernest Moniz, Department of Energy
Douglas Schultz, Director, Loan Guarantee Program
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
Representative Fred Upton, Michigan
Representative Henry Waxman, California
Oglethorpe Power Company
MEAG Power
(We added bold for emphasis)

POSTSCRIPT: For the many of our readers who would not know, yall, i.e. “y’all”, i.e. “you all” is used in much of the southern US states, since a plural you does not exist in English. Some have reportedly extended usage of “y’all” to singular “you” as well. In this instance it probably means “Let’s have no more nukes” or is a reference to southern heritage.