President Barack Obama’s proposed FY 2011 budget includes some important proposals to invest in clean energy, but it also includes a nuclear bombshell. The budget will seek at total of $54 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power. This would require a $36 billion increase over the existing $18.5 billion for nuclear loan guarantees, a program created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 – none of which has been issued yet. And while they loan guarantee proposal cheered some pro-nuclear senators, it has not garnered their support for comprehensive, bipartisan clean energy and climate change legislation.
When you read stories like this, you can’t help but wonder why everybody doesn’t put together a proposal to build a nuclear plant. In what other enterprise can you put out a proposal, double or triple the cost estimate every couple of years, never deliver a product, have a long history of loan defaults, and still have exponentially growing levels of Government enthusiasm for your product?