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Massive Subsidies to Nuclear Industry 'A Mistake'

WASHINGTON (January 29, 2010) -- The White House is widely reported to be proposing additional billions of dollars in loan guarantees for the nuclear power industry. That would be a mistake, according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Following is the statement of Christopher Paine, Director of the Nuclear Program at NRDC:

"A massive increase in taxpayer subsidies for nuclear power would be a mistake.

“Energy sources should compete for public dollars based on how well they provide the clean, efficient and affordable power we need. On that basis, nuclear power has a long way to go. It remains a high-cost, subsidy-dependent, radioactive-waste generating, water-depleting, non-renewable energy source that still carries with it the low probability of a high-consequence accident.

“We can get far more for our money by investing in efficiency gains, conservation and innovative technologies that generate power from wind, solar and other renewable sources; as well as biomass and waste heat from industry.

“At best, preserving future low-carbon energy options for the country suggests that industry construct a few lead reactor units of genuinely new design, in areas of the country least endowed with renewable energy resources, to test whether new nuclear reactors can be a cost-effective part of a national strategy to reduce carbon pollution. This is no time to burden taxpayers with additional subsidies for nuclear power."

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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