Tuesday, December 13, 2011

FOE on Nuclear reactors

Nuclear reactors

Friends of the Earth's nuclear campaign works to reduce risks for people and the environment by supporting efforts to close existing nuclear reactors and fighting proposals to design and build new reactors and use federal funds to underwrite such initiatives. As the Fukushima disaster continues to unfold, our campaign is engaging key battles, against old and new reactors, and on loan bailout guarantees and other federal policies that subsidize the nuclear industry.

For 40 years, Friends of the Earth has been a leading voice in the U.S. in opposing nuclear reactors. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, it is clear that there can and must be a thorough debate on our energy future and the need to move beyond this dangerous and dirty technology to the clean renewable and efficiency technologies of the 21st century.

Fighting a massive nuclear bailout

Nuclear reactor construction is so expensive and subject to cost overruns and loan defaults that Wall Street won't finance it. For this reason, reactor construction in the United States came to a halt in the late 1970s. Industry executives have admitted that without taxpayer-backed loan guarantees, they cannot build new reactors. That's why the nuclear industry is so eager to stick you -- the taxpayer -- with the bill.

Loan guarantees are the principal means by which the nuclear industry is trying to put taxpayers on the hook. Each nuclear reactor costs as much as $10 billion to build, and the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the industry will default on more than half of its loans. Through loan guarantees, taxpayers will be forced to repay Wall Street if -- and when -- nuclear companies default on their loans. Yet President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget proposed $55 billion in nuclear loan guarantees. In February 2010, the president announced the first taxpayer-backed loan guarantee to build two reactors in Georgia, which would be the first built in the U.S. in 30 years.

Friends of the Earth is fighting to stop loan guarantee bailouts for the nuclear industry, to protect the public and prevent taxpayer money from being wasted on this dirty, unsafe, and old technology. Safe, clean, and responsible alternatives exist, such as solar, wind, and energy efficiency, and these should be the focus of government investment.

Nuclear reactors | Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth strives for a more healthy and just world. We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy. Sometimes, this involves speaking uncomfortable truths to power and demanding more than people think is possible. It's hard work. But the pressures facing our planet and its people are too important for us to compromise.


what next: old nukes, new nukes, NO NUKES | occupy nuclear

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