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."