Nuclear Loan Drives U.S. Competitiveness
By Nate Ames on Saturday, March 20th, 2010
Upcoming new nuclear power plants that are planned for near term construction are expected to cost in the $6 billion to $8 billion range. This cost exceeds that which most U.S. utilities can secure through their own market capitalization. Without the ability to finance these costs the U.S. electric power generation community would not be in a position to make the substantial, yet worthy investment. This would have a cascading effect, if no new nuclear power plants are brought into the construction viewfinder, there would be limited market pull for developing new nuclear and heavy fabrication suppliers. With a reduced driver to develop suppliers there is a reduced drive to improve manufacturing efficiency on U.S. soil. Without new technology and new manufacturing technology development and implementation, the U.S. manufacturers become more dependent on selling against low cost labor rather than creating a new high quality marketplace. The brilliance is that the inverse is also true, as loan guarantees free up new plant construction the U.S. supply base become stronger and more competitive—ultimately growing a new domestic market and pulling work back into the U.S. from foreign competitors.