No Nuke Loan Guarantees in New Government Bill

By Michael Mariotte

Citizen lobbyists sent more than 15,000 letters to Congress in December and made many, many phone calls to stop $8 billion in taxpayer loans for new nuclear reactor construction. And the final government funding bill, signed by President Obama, contains not one dime for new nukes!

The Senate was forced to pull the “Omnibus” funding bill it had proposed, which included the $8 billion in taxpayer loans for the nuclear industry, and instead a “Continuing Resolution” was passed that funds the government through mid-March.

That makes at least seven major efforts over the past two years by nuclear industry backers to increase taxpayer loans for new reactors — and every one of those efforts has been blocked! Grassroots people power works!

So take a moment to celebrate this holiday season. And get ready to do it all over again early in the new year — because the nuclear industry will surely be back, hat-in-hand, looking for your money again. We will, of course, keep you informed.

Two Urgent Radioactive Waste Actions

Meanwhile, there are two urgent actions on radioactive waste to take now:

1. Energy Solutions is seeking a license to import 1,000 tons of radioactive waste from a German broker. This waste would come from across Europe and perhaps elsewhere and be shipped to Tennessee where it would be incinerated — spewing radiation into the air. The radioactive ash would then be sent back to Germany.

Please sign a petition to President Obama and the NRC, organized by our friends at Citizens to End Nuclear Dumping in TN, to block this license. The license comment period ends December 29, so please act now.

2. A Texas-Vermont Radioactive Waste Compact Commission proposed rule would let nuclear waste from around the country (and potentially the world) go to Waste Control Specialists’ (WCS) Andrews County proposed dump site in West Texas, instead of limiting waste to the current Compact states of Texas and Vermont. Radioactive waste means increased financial, health, environmental and security risks.

The comment deadline is December 26, so please send your comment letter now, here.

The proposal is being used to justify new nuclear power, which would make even more nuclear waste, by giving the illusion of a solution to the nuclear waste problem. Yet the WCS site only has a conditional license, and that document doesn’t include enough storage capacity to handle even the waste generated from Texas and Vermont. WCS’ goal is to get a new license and become a national dumping ground for radioactive waste, and this is a step in that plan.

To get an idea of what WCS is like and how it is trying to buy its way to a new license, check out this article about its owner, Swift Boat funder Harold Simmons, who has given more than $1 million to Texas Governor Rick Perry — nearly half of that this year.

We’ll all have our work cut out for us with the new Congress, but together we are powerful.  Φ

Michael Mariotte is Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. You can contact him at

2 comments for “No Nuke Loan Guarantees in New Government Bill

  1. Pingback: E-bike

Leave a Reply