Archive for June 1st, 2009

Calvert Cliffs-hanger: Nukes’ now or never?

June 1, 2009

The ongoing battle over the proposed reactor at the existing Calvert Cliffs, MD nuclear power plant is shaping up to be do-or-die for the U.S. nuclear power industry, according to a report in Carbon Control News.

The Constellation Energy-Electricite de France joint project moved a step closer to reality on April 28 when the Maryland Public Service commission recommended that initial construction on the reactor be allowed to commence. Then on May 19, the proposed reactor became one of four projects to be considered by the Department of Energy for part of the $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees available for new nuclear projects. At least $10 billion in loan guarantees are needed for the plant to proceed, according to Constellation.

But the greens are claiming that the project’s 49.99% ownership by Electricitie de France would allow a foreign government to control a U.S. nuclear reactor  and are raising concerns about Constellation’s finances, including its ability to secure financing for the eventual decommissioning of the plant.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce told Carbon Control News that the Calvert Cliffs project,

“… will have a ridiculously huge bearing over what happens with the rest of the industry.”

The greens are downplaying the notion of any imminent “nuclear renaissance” since only four applications have been filed with the DOE for loan guarantees. The anti-nuclear group Public Citizen told Carbon Control News,

“Four applicants is not a renaissance.”