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AEHI CEO Don Gillispie To The Federal Government: Please Correct Approval Process And Loan Guarantees For Nuclear Plants In 2011 December 14, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, nuclear industry.
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BOISE, Idaho, December 13, 2010 – “Nuclear power holds enormous promise for meeting America’s need for clean, reliable, low-cost electricity, but the promise will only be realized if the U.S. government addresses its energy policy,” says Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc (OTCQB:AEHI; http://www.aehipower.com), a Eagle, ID-based company that plans to build new nuclear power plants and markets nuclear desalination systems. “We need a real energy plan,” he says.

“The right energy policy would streamline the approval process for new nuclear plants and greatly expand the U.S. government’s program to guarantee loans to stimulate domestic financing of those plants,” Gillispie argues. “It wouldn’t even cost taxpayers any money. With loan guarantees, the federal government is only required to pay if nuclear plant developers default on their loans and the chances of that are slim considering the money these plants can generate. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was created to encourage clean energy developers with loan guarantees, among other things, but now we are greatly limiting them for nuclear power and even charging prohibitive upfront fees to qualify — hardly an incentive.”

According to Gillispie policy changes are urgently needed. The numbers tell a stark and worrisome story. The U.S. has 104 nuclear reactors, which make 20% of the nation’s electricity. Within about 25 years many of those plants will have reached the end of their lives, and will have to be replaced. Meanwhile, approximately 600 coal plants would cost too much to upgrade to meet new pollution rules, so they will be taken out of service; some are already in the process. In order to continue meeting the nation’s current baseload electricity demand, the country will need 300 or more new nuclear plants within 30 years or so. “We’d have to be on a path of 10-15 new nuclear plants a year when you include load growth starting now,” Gillispie says.

However, the country hasn’t even taken a small step on that path. While U.S. companies proposed building about 30 new nuclear plants over the next 10 years or so, most of the proposals are currently stalled. Plants that are on track to be built include two units at the existing Vogtle site in Georgia owned by Southern Company and two units AEHI plans to build in Payette County, Idaho.  The AEHI plant will fall behind Vogtle due to the lengthy approval process involved with building on a previously undeveloped site, also known as a greenfield site. Even if the stalled proposals get moving, they won’t be nearly enough. “AEHI is planning for the potential to install an additional four units in the future while everyone else is talking about one or two,” says Gillispie. “At this rate, we’ll never be able to meet the country’s need for baseload electricity.”

What would greatly help speed up the development of nuclear plants? Probably, the most important step would be for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to approve designs and new sites more expeditiously, Gillispie says. “NRC officials are telling people it takes 54 months to approve an existing, but enhanced U.S. design that’s already shown to be reliable and safe and potentially even longer to approve a new greenfield nuclear site. Any industrial development, including mining and heavy manufacturing, are nearly impossible to get approved today. It is apparent our children will live at a lower standard if we do not wake-up and give business leaders some say in this country’s future, instead of catering to those who oppose everything in the name of the environment to a fault.

Life has risk, but there are even greater risks without proven technologies being used effectively.  Western nuclear power has been proven safer than all other energy sources to date, yet getting plants built remains far too time consuming.” Nuclear plant approval delays mean that potential investors are instead putting their money in alternatives like wind, which can be approved and built in as little as a year—but can only supply a fraction of the country’s demand for power with high cost, poor reliability and large federal subsidies, not to mention it cannot provide needed baseload power to our electric grid.

That’s why Gillispie is encouraging his representatives in Congress to push the NRC to move faster or to pass legislation to streamline the approval process.

The second step would be to provide more loan guarantees for nuclear plants without excessive fees. Such guarantees enable companies to line up financing for new plants at an affordable cost. “There’s almost no risk to the government,” says Gillispie, “because nuclear plant developers will not default on those loans.”

The NRC must move expeditiously in order to fulfill the requests for more nuclear power now seen at a local level.  AEHI’s own experience shows public opinion for nuclear is at an all-time high. At a key December 2nd county planning and zoning meeting, an overwhelming majority of the participants were in favor of zoning changes to permit the construction of AEHI’s proposed plant.  On December 9th, those same county officials approved a recommendation to rezone 500 acres in rural Idaho, which has been designated as the future site for AEHI’s proposed nuclear power plant.  “If the government will help us move faster, the nuclear industry will be able to deliver the critical power that America needs,” says Gillispie.
About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.AlternateEnergyHoldings.com) — Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral(TM), which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (http://www.EnergyNeutralinc.com) Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and Green World Water(TM), which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation (http://www.GreenWorld-H2O.com), production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.
Safe Harbor Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “aim,” “will” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among others, those concerning our expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as all assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events, including our ability to list on a national securities exchange. These statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to us and reflect our current view concerning future events. As such, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among many others: our significant operating losses; our limited operating history; uncertainty of capital resources; the speculative nature of our business; our ability to successfully implement new strategies; present and possible future governmental regulations; operating hazards; competition; the loss of key personnel; any of the factors in the “Risk Factors” section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently completed fiscal year; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. You should also carefully review the reports that we file with the SEC. We assume no obligation, and do not intend, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.


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