The Department of Energy (DOE) will guarantee $1.8 billion in loans for the operators of two new nuclear reactors under construction at a power plant in Georgia, the department announced on Wednesday.
The government had previously provided $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant project, the country’s first new nuclear facility to be licensed and begin construction in more than 30 years. Wednesday's step, officials said, will allow the project to be fully-financed.
“As we move towards a low-carbon future, the Department’s loan guarantees will play an important part in expanding the role of nuclear energy as a part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Moniz: Texas blackouts show need to protect infrastructure against climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran MORE said in a statement.
“The Vogtle project has put the U.S. at the forefront of a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors, incorporating numerous innovations resulting in significant operational and safety improvements, and helping to train a world-class workforce with expertise in building nuclear power plants.”
Construction at the Vogtle plant has been plagued by delays, and the Associated Press reported Wednesday that cost overruns have threatened the $2.7 billion in savings project executives have said they would secure since state regulators approved construction in 2009. Operators expect to spend at least $7.5 billion on the project.
The Vogtle project is one of three new nuclear power facilities under construction in the U.S. today. One of the plant's two new reactors is scheduled to go online in 2019.