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Report suggests Solyndra-like problems in federal nuclear power loan guarantee

“Those discussions were generally with the top management of the companies, according to the report. “This is a potentially troubling blurring of financial risk review, political discussion, and potential modification of loan terms.”

A May 2010 email from DOE senior loan adviser Matthew Winters to then DOE loan programs executive director Jonathan Silver said that, “Today was the deadline for Southern Corporation (Georgia Power) to sign … the conditional commitment letter for the Vogtle nuclear project. … I’m told by Brandon that this course of action was signed off on by the Secretary and was conveyed to Southern.”

Silver was one of DOE officials at the heart of the Solyndra loan scandal and left the department in 2011 to become a distinguished visiting fellow at the liberal Third Way.

Emails also indicate that efforts for the Energy Department to close out consultation were being handled at the “political level” of the Treasury Department.

The report also includes heavily redacted negotiations between Labor Department, the loan recipients, and other departments regarding prevailing wage requirements on the construction of the nuclear reactors. However, the report indicates that indicate that Georgia Power did receive some at least GPC received some Davis-Bacon Act exemptions.

Two more emails suggest White House involvement, as one February 2010 email indicates that the DOE did not “deal” with Shaw, the firm responsible for much of the reactor’s construction. A December 2010 email shows communication between the White House and Nuclear Energy Institute over several issues of concern.

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