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Published on February 26th, 2014 | By: Jessica McMathis

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US backs $6.5-billion loan guarantee for first nuclear facilities in 30 years

Published on February 26th, 2014 | By: Jessica McMathis

0221ctt-Vogtle-Power-Plant-LORES

 

Two new nuclear reactors—the first to be built in 30 years—will be constructed at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia, pictured above. Credit: NRC; Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

 

Thanks to a multibillion-dollar investment from the federal government, the outlook for US nuclear energy development is positively peachy.

 

According to a Department of Energy (DOE) press release, two new nuclear power facilities—the first to be built in three decades—will be constructed at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia, where two nuclear reactor units already reside.

 

In announcing the backing of $6.5 billion in loan guarantees to Oglethorpe Power and Southern Company, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “The construction of new nuclear power facilities like this one—which will provide carbon-free electricity to well over a million American energy consumers—is not only a major milestone in the Administration’s commitment to jumpstart the U.S. nuclear power industry, it is also an important part of our all-of-the-above approach to American energy as we move toward a low-carbon energy future.”

 

An additional $1.8 billion loan guarantee offered in 2010 to project co-owner Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) remains outstanding.

 

The DOE projects that construction of the plant’s two 1,100-megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 advanced nuclear reactors, which are expected to provide power to 1.5 million American homes, is likely to create 3,500 jobs and an additional 800 permanent jobs once complete.

 

Though four of its 100 reactors closed in 2013, the United States remains the world leader in the supply of commercial nuclear power.

 

Feature image credit: C.C. Watson Jr; Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

 


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