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US-backed loans to expand nuclear power: a boon for overseas jobs?

A report released Thursday finds that all 18 firms lining up for tens of billions in US-backed loans for new nuclear power plants would use overseas jobs to build most of them.

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A Nov. 3, 2008 file photo showing one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach, California. Firms trying to get US-backed loans to build more nuclear power plants might create overseas jobs.

Michael A. Mariant/AP Photo, File

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Nuclear power opponents and taxpayer groups on Friday took fresh aim at new nuclear reactor projects, hopping aboard a movement in Congress to oppose taxpayer support for power projects that might benefit foreign companies and overseas jobs.

While activists have long claimed Congress and the White House would be fiscally irresponsible to grant loan guarantees for new nuclear power reactor construction due to projected high default rates, the groups for the first time Thursday released a report citing the loan guarantees' bolstering of foreign jobs and overseas ownership.

As it turns out, all 18 corporate applicants seeking permits for new US nuclear power reactors – and lining up for tens of billions in federal loan guarantees – plan to use foreign manufacturers and labor to build major parts of those reactors.

That's according to a new report by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, based in Takoma Park, Md., citing data gleaned from filings with the Nuclear Regulator Commission. The service, with the Association of Concerned Taxpayers and the Alliance for Generational Equity, said a few utilities now seeking US loan guarantees for nuclear projects were also largely foreign-owned.

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