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Obama begins to make good on nuclear power pledge

This morning, President Obama began to follow through an a pledge in his State of the Union address to go nuke, offering $8.3 billion loan guarantees to build the first nuclear plant in the U.S. in nearly 30 years.

You'll remember I wrote that Obama's go-nuke line in the SOTU speech was the overlooked story of the night.

Today's news is the first step on that road.

"On an issue that affects our economy, our security and the future of our planet, we can't continue to be mired in the same old stale debates between left and right, between environmentalists and entrepreneurs," Obama said in Washington. "Our competitors are racing to create jobs and command growing energy industries. And nuclear energy is no exception."

Today's $8.3 billion loan guarantee will go for a pair of reactors to be built by Southern Co. in an area southeast of Atlanta.

Shares of Southern, a big regional utility, are up about 1.2 percent in trading today, about even with the market.

Here are five reasons to go nuke from the Atlantic. (Semi-surprising, from that source.)

As you may imagine, the National Association of Manufacturers thinks it's a capital idea to build new nuke plants.

"Manufacturers support a robust nuclear power industry because it is a reliable low-cost, clean energy that supports a sustainable growth agenda and helps manufacturers compete globally," the trade group's president, John Engler, said in a statement moments ago. "The administration’s actions today not only speed up construction on the first two new nuclear reactors to be built in the United States in nearly 30 years, but will give a much needed boost to U.S. manufacturing while creating thousands of high- paying jobs."

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 16, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Obama , The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, nuclear power  
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