This is really good news – for the first time in decades, new nuclear power plants will be built:
On Tuesday, President Obama will announce plans to break ground on two new nuclear reactors at a Southern Company plant in Burke, Georgia — the first new U.S. nuclear reactors since the incident at Three Mile Island in 1979.
The president will make the announcement at the IBEW Local Headquarters in Lanham, Md., where union members can learn applications that can be used in the construction of nuclear power plants.
The White House is making no bones about the fact that they see this announcement as advancing two agenda items: clean energy and efforts at bipartisanship.
(…) The President has proposed tripling loan guarantees for nuclear-power plant construction to more than $54 billion in his FY2011 budget.
Nuclear energy meets approximately 20 percent of the United States’ energy needs. According to Southern Company, the new project will create approximately 3,000 onsite construction jobs in the short term and approximately 850 permanent operations jobs.
Obama, as an Illinoisan, knows nuclear power. Few people know that Illinois ranks first in the United States for nuclear power generation and capacity, supplying about 48% of the state’s power requirement needs, about even with coal.
And it is important to note that the Obama Admin is proposing no direct funding for new plants, but rather loan guarantees. So unless the project fails to make money (and given the trends, thats unlikely) this will end up costing the taxpayer nothing.
We still are way behind China, but this is a good start.