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Bill Gives a Prod to Nuclear Energy Plants

The energy bill signed into law by President Bush offers billions of dollars in tax incentives, loan guarantees and other federal aid to promote energy production. Included in the plan is nuclear power, which supplies 20 percent of the electricity in the United States.

The new law provides new subsidies for the industry and extends old ones into the future. The goal, policy-makers say, is to smooth the financial path for builders and owners of new plants. Nobody in the United States has built a new reactor plant since the early 1970s.

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Peter Overby has covered Washington power, money, and influence since a foresighted NPR editor created the beat in 1994.