Act now to stop new nuke subsidies

Act now to stop new nuke subsidies
Dear Sustainable Energy Advocates:
When Congressmembers return to Washington after Labor Day, we expect
fast action in both the Senate and House on new energy legislation.
Exactly what that new energy legislation will be is not clear at this
point, but behind-the-scenes, nuclear industry advocates are gearing
up for a new push for billions of dollars in new taxpayer subsidies
for new reactor construction and other industry wish list items.
It is important to contact both of your senators, and your
representative now, before they return to Washington and things begin
moving quickly. Most Congressmembers are back in their home districts
so it is worth contacting both their Washington offices and local
offices. It is also a good idea to meet them on the campaign trail
and bring up nuclear subsidies at campaign events.
The Capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121. You can also look up your
House member’s direct contact information here: and your
Senators’ information here:
The message to your Congressmembers is simple: No More Nuclear
Subsidies! Do Not Include ANY Nuclear Subsidies in any energy bills.
Public opinion polls continue to show that nuclear power is just
about the least popular energy option, while renewable energy sources
continue to be the most supported by the public. For example, a
NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released August 20 found that 72%
believe developing "alternative" (i.e. renewable) energy sources
could "accomplish a great deal." Only about 40% said that of new
nuclear power. Similarly, an August 9 ABC News poll found only 44%
support new reactor construction. Congress shouldn’t fall for the
nuclear industry’s self-serving pronouncements about the need or
public support for new nuclear power.
Please contact your Congressmembers today.
Thanks for all you do.
Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Background information
In early August, 10 senators—five Democrats and five Republicans—
released a "compromise" energy plan to allow for some offshore oil
drilling. The group has been dubbed the Gang of 10. Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid has indicated he is likely to allow a vote on an
energy bill in September. However, the Gang of 10 have not yet put
their compromise into legislative form, so there is no bill number or
exact language. While the Gang of 10’s plan has been widely reported
on, few have noticed that their plan includes $80+ to $160+ Billion
in new subsidies for the nuclear power industry.
In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated she too is likely to
allow a vote on some sort of energy bill in September. Again, no
specific bill language has yet been announced. However, a group of
predominately Republican House members have introduced what they call
the "All of the Above" energy bill (HR 6384) which would include
about $120 billion in new nuclear subsidies.
While neither the Gang of 10’s nor the All of the Above proposals are
likely to be voted on as is, the threat that massive new nuclear
subsidies will be added to an energy package is very real. That’s why
it’s so important to contact your Members now, before a final energy
bill is introduced.
Michele Boyd of Physicians for Social Responsibility has provided the
following list of items that currently are in the two main proposals
so far:
Billions of Dollars of Nuclear Subsidies Hidden in Proposed Offshore
Drilling Bills
New Energy Reform Act of 2008
(Not in legislative form yet; bill number not available)
TOTAL subsidies for nuclear power: $87.8 billion – $166.7 billion
· Increases Number of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Staff:
Increases NRC staff to process applications for new reactors and to
further streamline the licensing process. In FY08, NRC has budgeted
$216.9 million for 587 full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff to review 12
new reactor applications. This is an increase of $124.3 million for
283 additional FTE staff compared to FY07. The cost to taxpayers
will be $12.4 million in FY08. As many as 8 additional applications
are expected in FY09.
· Funds Nuclear Workers Training Program: Authorizes $100
million over 5 years for the Department of Labor to implement
training programs for nuclear workers.
· Creates Working Group to Promote US Nuclear Manufacturing:
Creates interagency working group to promote a domestic manufacturing
base for nuclear components and equipment.
· Builds Reprocessing Facility: Authorizes funding and
directs DOE to begin construction on a reprocessing R&D facility
within one year. According to DOE in March 2006, such a facility
would cost $1.5 billion.
· Authorizes DOE to Enter Into Risk Insurance Contracts:
Allows DOE to enter into contracts for "standby support" (i.e. "risk
insurance" to pay the industry for delays in obtaining NRC approval
to turn on a constructed reactor). EPACT 2005 authorized $2 billion
for this subsidy to cover 6 new reactors.
· Authorizes Unlimited Loan Guarantees (estimated cost: $84.2
billion to $163.1 billion*):
o Expands the definition of "project costs" to include startup and
financing costs, which puts billions more taxpayer dollars at risk.
o Provides for a combination of appropriations and project sponsor
funding to pay for the administrative and subsidy costs (currently
this funding is to come only from the project sponsor).
o Exempts the loan guarantee program from Sec. 504(b) of FCRA.
Under this section of FCRA, DOE is required to obtain congressional
budget authority before committing to loan guarantees. This
provision would eliminate this requirement, thereby allowing DOE to
give out unlimited guarantees without congressional authorization.
o Clarifies that the loan guarantees can cover 80% of 100% of the
project costs (unclear from summary whether it actually requires
this, but likely).
* The nuclear industry is proposing 34 new reactors. Current
estimates per reactor (without cost overruns) range from $6.2 billion
to $12 billion per reactor. Unlimited loan guarantees that cover 80%
of the 34 projects would guarantee $168.6 billion to $326.4 billion.
The nuclear industry expects to pay $100 million in fees. Assuming
these reactors have the 50% default rate as projected by the
Congressional Budget Office, the taxpayer cost would be $84.2 billion
to $163.1 billion.
Americans for American Energy Act of 2008 (HR 6384)
TOTAL subsidies for nuclear power: > $120 billion
· Subsidizes Reprocessing of Spent Fuel (Sec. 501):
Authorizes the use of the Nuclear Waste Fund to make grants to or
enter into contracts with companies for reprocessing of spent nuclear
fuel (Sec. 501). There is currently about $20 billion in the Nuclear
Waste Fund, far less than would be needed to reprocess spent fuel in
the U.S. According to the National Academy of Sciences,
reprocessing only the spent fuel that we have today would cost at
least $100 billion.
· Fast-Tracks and Subsidizes Rulemaking for Reprocessing
Facilities (Sec. 502): Requires the NRC to complete a rulemaking for
reprocessing facilities within 2 years and authorizes Nuclear Waste
Fund money to cover NRC’s costs. This is extremely premature because
DOE does not know the full complement of necessary technologies will
be or if they would ever work.
· Takes the Nuclear Waste Fund "Off-Budget" – Takes the
Nuclear Waste Fund "off-budget" so that expenditures from the Fund
are not counted as part of Congress’ spending or the national deficit
(Sec. 503). Currently, Congress must approve expenditures from the
Nuclear Waste Fund annually in an appropriation bill and these
expenditures are counted as part of the federal deficit. This change
would allow $20 billion of nuclear ratepayers’ money to flow
unchecked into the troubled Yucca Mountain Project to develop a
nuclear waste repository in Nevada and into restarting the failed
nuclear waste reprocessing effort of the 1970s.
· Codifies Waste Confidence (Sec. 504) – Prevents the NRC
from being able to deny a license or permit application on the
grounds that there is nowhere for nuclear waste to go. The
NRC’s "waste confidence rule," states that there will be a repository
for spent fuel "in a timely manner" and therefore the agency does not
need to consider the problem of waste piling up at nuclear reactor
sites as part of its review of license extensions or new license
applications. This provision would codify this rule by forbidding
the NRC from denying an application on the grounds that there is not
sufficient capacity. Given that the only proposed site for a
permanent geologic repository has not yet begun the NRC’s licensing
process and that the site is more than 20 years from accepting waste
even if it is licensed, it is unlikely that waste will be moving from
reactor sites "in a timely manner." This measure would bypass what
should be a scientific and technical determination and sets up the
federal government for additional lawsuits by the nuclear industry
for failing to meet its commitment to dispose of spent nuclear fuel.
· Gives Tax Break for Nuclear Components Certification (Sec.
505) – Gives a 15% tax credit to companies for ASME nuclear component
certification or for increasing capacity to construct, assemble, or
install nuclear components from 2008 to the end of 2019. A large
number of parts used to build a nuclear reactor must be certified by
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which costs
between $25,000 and $35,000 per certification. This tax break, valid
until 2019, would cost taxpayers as much as $5,250 per certification.
· Authorizes Nuclear Science and Engineering Scholarships
(Sec 1109): Requires that the Department of Energy award at least 65
grants of 400,000 over 4 years to undergraduate institutions to
provide scholarships to students studying nuclear science and
engineering. This program would cost taxpayers at least $26 million.
· Requires Recommendations on Nuclear Workforce Development
(Sec. 1110) – Requires that within 120 days the Department of Energy
provide Congress with recommendations for developing the nuclear
workforce in the U.S.
Gives Away Cash Prize for Technologies to Store Spent Fuel (Sec.
1203) – Requires the Department of Energy to award undetermined
amounts of cash prizes to advance innovative energy technologies and
new energy sources, including awards for storing spent nuclear fuel.
You can support NIRS and the Nuclear Pushback Campaign on our secure
website here. Your tax-deductible contributions will help us buy blog
ads, monitor and respond to the media, and help turn around the
current energy debate! Please make a donation of $5, $10, $25 or any
amount you choose—your donations will be put to good use!
And if you haven’t done so yet, don’t forget to sign the statement on
nuclear power and climate at (but please don’t sign more
than once!). If you’ve already signed, please ask your friends and
colleagues to sign!
We’ve passed 7750 7830 7930 8,130 8,330, 8400 8500 signatures, let’s
get to 10,000! And just let us know at if you want
more paper copies of the statement to gather signers at events,
concerts, conferences, etc. We’re adding paper signers as fast as we
can (but seem to be always a few hundred behind….).
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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: This petition on Haiti disaster anniversary:   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: This petition on Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts:,_native_american_acts,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: This petition on Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday:   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: This petition on Economically empower through advocacy:
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