Since the recent cancellation of one of only two new nuclear reactor projects in the United States, the fate of nuclear power has received significant attention. With cheap natural gas, decreases in energy demand and an increase in renewable energy, nuclear power’s high capital costs, technological challenges and massive accident and waste liabilities make it too risky for private investors. As a result, taxpayers have been the backstop keeping the industry afloat for years. But as industry representatives actively seek further government handouts amid their current struggles, it’s time for policymakers to stop the subsidies. As I noted at the time, the bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric Co. in March was a bad omen for the nuclear projects it was contracted to complete. Since then, the full extent of just how far behind schedule and over budget the two projects are has come to light. Upon realizing this, and faced with the decision of whether or not to press on with the costly construction of their respective nuclear reactors, the two sets of co-owners and their industry allies (read: lobbyists) turned to Washington for help, surprising no one. In addition to seeking aid directly from the administration, one of their chief legislative asks has been the extension of the nuclear production tax credit.
US News 17th Aug 2017 read more »