Thursday, April 3, 2008

DOE nuclear loan guarantees still in the future

DOE promises a plan real soon, any day now, really . . .

Platts reports that the Department of Energy plans to issue loan guarantee solicitations later this year. David Frantz, director of the DOE loan guarantee program, spoke to the news media on April 2nd following a Senate hearing.

According to Platts, Frantz said DOE is hopeful the solicitations will cover a wide range of energy projects, including new reactors. But, he added, the program is "still a work in progress." That's government talk for 'we still don't have our act together.' DOE has not yet submitted a detailed plan on how it plans to proceed to Congress and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

More than half of the $38.5 billion loan guarantee program is dedicated to nuclear projects, with $18.5 billion allocated for new reactors and another $2 billion for uranium enrichment.

During the hearing, Platts reported, Republican Senators Pete Domenici of New Mexico and Larry Craig of Idaho both urged DOE to proceed as quickly as possible with the program, which was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It is 2008 guys. You all ought to get a move on.

The NRC complained earlier this month that the ceiling for loan guarantees is too small to support the industry.

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