Nuclear part of Obama’s climate strategy

Any worries that president-elect Obama would swing away from his predecessor’s pro-nuclear policies were assuaged yesterday when Obama told a U.S. governors climate summit that his administration “will tap nuclear power” in order to to “catalyze private sector efforts to build a clean energy future.”

Obama, in a taped address to the summit, promised $15 billion to make this happen, and said that that would include investments in solar, wind, and biofuel technologies in addition to nuclear.

And there’s the rub. Bush’s support for nuclear included $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear plants. So far the U.S. government has received applications for nuclear projects totalling $122 billion. Will Obama increase the amount set aside for loan guarantees? And how will his administration decide which of these projects are the most deserving?

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