AND RESOURCE SERVICE
301-270-NIRS (301-270-6477); Fax: 301-270-4291
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michael Mariotte
October 9, 2010 301-395-7463 (cell)
Statement of Michael Mariotte, Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
On Constellation Energy’s Announcement to End Participation in Calvert Cliffs-3 Nuclear Reactor Project
Constellation Energy has made the right decision—for the wrong stated reasons--in ending its involvement with the proposed Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear reactor project on the shores of
According to a Constellation Energy press release, a $7.5 Billion taxpayer loan offered by the
That these offers were considered “unreasonably burdensome” by Constellation Energy shows that the company was unwilling to assume the extraordinary financial risk this nuclear reactor posed—they wanted taxpayers to take all of the risk for this reactor.
But, even if Constellation had succeeded in forcing taxpayers to take all of the risk, this project made no economic sense. Recently NIRS submitted a new contention in the NRC licensing proceeding on this reactor, charging that the utility overestimated electrical demand in the region, failed to acknowledge the existence of energy efficiency programs in Maryland and competing energy sources, such as clean offshore wind power proposed for the state; and deliberately understated costs of the reactor when comparing it to clean, sustainable alternatives.
And indeed, the exorbitant projected cost of this reactor in a deregulated electricity market with ample competing methods of generation surely had far greater effect on Constellation’s decision than the terms of the proposed taxpayer loan.
NIRS already had a contention accepted for hearing on the unprecedented level of foreign ownership in the Calvert Cliffs project, which is explicitly prohibited by the Atomic Energy Act. This prohibition, and the fact the issue is in litigation, likely prevented Constellation’s partner, Electricite de France, from offering to assume a greater share of the loan guarantee’s “down payment.”
This is a great day for
 Although often called a “loan guarantee,” according to the license application to the NRC filed to build Calvert Cliffs-3, the money was to come from the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank.