Media teleconference: Nuclear loans imprudent

Guest Blog | October 21, 2009 | Press Releases

NRC Action Throws Into Question Future of 14 of 31 Proposed New U.S. Reactors; Forward Path Now Unclear for Proposed Reactors in NC, SC, GA, FL, AL – Including AP-1000 Reactors in GA and SC on DOE Loan Guarantee Short List. WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 21) – Given that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has objected to major design problems in the AP-1000 reactor design slated to be used in 14 of 31 proposed new nuclear reactors in the United States, the Department of Energy (DOE) should not issue “conditional loan guarantees” until the designs are finalized and the reactors are fully licensed, according to four experts who will speak out during a phone-based national news conference at 1:30 p.m. EDT on October 22, 2009.

Late last week, the NRC concluded that the revised AP-1000 shield building design would not withstand severe weather, including tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes. That action by NRC comes as the DOE is on the verge of issuing “conditional loan guarantees,” two of which could go to utilities intending to construct AP-1000 reactors. While nearly half of the proposed new generation of nuclear reactors in the United States are now even more delayed and uncertain due to their reliance on the AP-1000 design, the new development is particularly significant for Georgia Power and South Carolina Electric & Gas — which are pursuing the flawed AP-1000 reactor and are on DOE’s “short list” of four utilities about to receive conditional loan guarantees. Other utilities with AP-1000s also applied for loan guarantees but did not qualify for the existing $18.5 billion currently authorized. 
News event speakers will be: • Edwin Lyman, senior scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in Washington, DC, a position he has held since May 2003;

• Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) member Peter Bradford, an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School and former chair of the New York and Maine utility commissions;

• Henry D. Sokolski, executive director, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, and former resident fellow at the National Institute for Public Policy, the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution;

• Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) Program Director, Sara Barczak. TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1:30 p.m. EDT on October 22, 2009 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “crisis for loan guarantees” news event. CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at as of 6 p.m. EDT on October 22, 2009.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Founded in 1985, SACE is the only regional organization primarily focused on developing clean energy solutions throughout the Southeast. For more information, go to on the Web.