Department Of Energy Nears Approval Of $8.3 Billion Loan For Nuclear Reactors

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that he expects to finalize an $8.3 billion taxpayer-backed loan for two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, setting up another battle in Washington over the government's investments in energy-related projects, The Hill reported.

According to the news outlet, the Department of Energy (DOE) offered the loan guarantee to Southern Co. in February 2010, but the deal can not be finalized until it meets a number of key regulatory approvals.

Chu noted that the loan guarantee is nearing the final stages of approval, less than a week after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a license for the project.

"We expect that one to close and go forward," Chu told reporters. He added that "there are a number of other milestones" the project must achieve before getting an approval from the DOE.

According to U.S. News & World Report, this marked the first time since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979 that the NRC granted a license for new reactor construction, signaling that the U.S. is ready to move forward with new projects in the sector.

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