EFH doesn't advance for loan guarantee on nuclear reactor project

> 8 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Elizabeth Souder The Dallas
> Morning News
> Energy Future Holdings' plans to build two more nuclear reactors
> received a setback this week.
> The company failed to advance in a competition to receive federal
> loan guarantees for the multibillion-dollar project.
> The Department of Energy sent congratulatory letters to four out
> of the five applicants that are still under consideration for the
> $18.5 billion in guarantees, a DOE spokeswoman said. Among them is NRG
> Energy, which aims to build two more reactors at the South Texas
> Project.
> The top executives for both NRG and EFH have said they cannot
> build nuclear reactors without federal help. Investors aren't willing
> to finance such massive, long-term projects without the security of a
> government guarantee.
> "The loan guarantee means a lot to Texas, is the bottom line,"
> chief executive John Young said in an interview last year.
> EFH's Luminant power generation unit applied for a license to
> expand the Comanche Peak plant in Glen Rose. Spokeswoman Ashley Monts
> said the company will continue the multi-year process to get a
> construction and operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory
> Commission.
> "While we are the first alternate and did not expect to receive a
> loan guarantee yet, we are optimistic about the future," she said,
> pointing out that Luminant began the application process later than
> some of the other companies, including NRG.
> The decision about whether to offer another round of loan
> guarantees lies with Congress.
> A spokeswoman for the DOE said it hasn't entirely ruled Luminant
> out of the current round, but only four projects are moving ahead to
> the due diligence stage.
> The department also hasn't decided how many of the four projects
> to guarantee.
> Steve Winn, chief executive of Nuclear Innovation North America,
> which is NRG's joint venture with Toshiba Corp. to develop nuclear
> plants, said he wants federal guarantees for 80 percent of the cost of
> the Texas project.
> The project will cost $8 billion to $10 billion.
> He's also asking the Japanese government to guarantee part of the
> loan, so the U.S. wouldn't be on the hook for the entire amount. He
> declined to say how much he wants from the U.S.
> "Given the total volume available, and the total number of people
> competing, we asked for our fair share," he said.