Obama Budget Request Calls for Major Investment in Nuclear Energy

The President’s FY12 budget outlines a plan for reviving the country’s nuclear power industry.

nuclear-reactor-lanlPresident Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget outlines a plan for reviving the country’s nuclear power industry, calling for $36 billion in government-backed loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors and setting aside more than $800 million for nuclear energy research.

Obama has said that nuclear power is a key component of the country’s energy future. In his State of the Union speech last month, he outlined a plan to generate 80 percent of the country’s electricity from low-carbon sources including nuclear by 2035.

But the prospect of reviving a U.S. nuclear energy industry faces significant obstacles. The country has not seen the completion of a new nuclear reactor for decades and projects have been hobbled by high costs. Nuclear energy also has its fair share of opponents, who cite concerns about cost and safety.

Republicans, for their part, have put a so-called “nuclear renaissance” in the United States at the top of their agenda, outlining plans to streamline regulatory oversight at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and build a series of scaled-down, “mini-nukes” that would cost less and take less time to build.

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Source: Andrew Restuccia | The Hill