"U.S. Chooses Four Utilities to Revive Nuclear Industry"

"Four power companies are expected to split $18.5 billion in federal financing to build the next generation of nuclear reactors -- the biggest step in three decades to revive the U.S. nuclear industry and one that could vault the utilities ahead of some of the sector's strongest players.

UniStar Nuclear Energy, NRG Energy Inc., Scana Corp and Southern Co. are expected to share a set of loan guarantees to be awarded by the Energy Department. The guarantees would enable the companies to start building the reactors as early as 2011, with the plants likely to come online by 2015 or 2016.

The four companies have already selected sites for their reactors and are at the front of the pack to receive licenses to build and operate them from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The government has yet to formally announce its picks, but interviews with Energy Department and NRC staff members, as well as officials at energy companies and reactor vendors, have identified the likely winners."

Rebecca Smith reports for the Wall Street Journal June 18, 2009. You can access the full text of this paid-content article by searching for it on Google News.

Thursday, June 18, 2009