By Phil McKenna for New Scientist:
Nuclear power got a boost and big oil took a hit yesterday when US President Barack Obama submitted his 2011 federal budget proposal to Congress. The budget calls for an immediate $36 billion increase in loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants and eliminates $36.5 billion in subsidies to oil and natural gas companies over a 10-year period.
Federal loan guarantees could be a huge boost to the US nuclear power industry, which hasn’t had an order for a new plant since the 1970s. The guarantees allow power companies to get lower interest rates when they secure project financing.
The US Department of Energy already has authority to grant $18.5 billion in loan guarantees, enough for two to four nuclear plants. If approved by Congress, the additional guarantees could help finance about six more plants, according to Steven Kerekes, spokesperson for the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry lobby group based in Washington DC…
[continues at New Scientist]