Webb: Investments in nuclear will boost economy
“These investments in nuclear energy technologies will help invigorate the U.S. economy and expand access to clean, domestic energy,” Webb, D-Va., said today. “They are going to keep the United States competitive in a global marketplace that has accelerated the development of nuclear power.”
In addition to the current $18.5 billion loan guarantee authority, the president’s proposed budget for fiscal-year 2012 requests an additional $36 billion in government-backed loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors, a move that would support development of another six to eight projects. The request sets aside more than $850 million for nuclear energy research and includes $192 million to develop and license nuclear reactor technologies, including small reactors that would cost less to build and operate.
Webb has been a leading voice in Congress for the development of nuclear power and innovative energy solutions. Obama’s request includes key proposals made by Webb and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in their Clean Energy Act of 2009, which would invest $20 billion over ten years to fund loan guarantees, nuclear education and workforce training, nuclear reactor lifetime-extension, and incentives for the development of solar power, biofuels, and alternative power technologies.
The legislation would direct the Department of Energy to conduct five “Mini-Manhattan Projects” to study carbon capture and conversion technologies, non-ethanol biofuels, electric vehicles and electricity storage, cost-competitive solar power, and Generation IV reactors and technologies that will ultimately reduce nuclear waste.
Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.