Feb 17th 2010
Barack Obama pressed the start button on the first new construction of nuclear reactors in a generation today, announcing $8.3bn in loan guarantees for the company building two.
Obama, in a visit to a job training centre in Maryland, said the loan guarantees to the energy  giant, Southern Company , would help launch the first wave of construction of new reactors in nearly 30 years as well as advance his energy and climate agenda .
“Even though we have not broken ground on a new nuclear plant in nearly 30 years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions ,” he said. “To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change , we’ll need to increase our supply of nuclear power . It’s that simple.”
The loans would commit the US government to repaying Southern’s loans if the company defaults. The guarantees cover some 70% of the estimated $8.8bn cost of building the two new reactors at the company’s Vogtle plant, which is east of Atlanta.