If you think mortgage derivative assets were toxic, take a look at this factoid from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) on financing new nuclear plants using federal loan guarantees:

CBO considers the risk of default on such a loan guarantee to be very high-well above 50 percent. The key factor accounting for this risk is that we expect that the plant would be uneconomic to operate because of its high construction costs, relative to other electricity generation sources.
Investors won't touch nuclear with a 10' spent fuel rod. It just costs too much and construction costs can get wildly out of control. Take the proposed NGR plant in San Antonio which was estimated at a modest $5.4 billion and set to receive one of Obama's nuclear loan guarantees... that was until the final construction estimates came in at $17 billion. 

The current program, according to Daniel Weiss at Grist, will make the government responsible for 80% of a defaulted loan. With an $8 billion per plant price tag and 50% default rate, the program could stick taxpayers with billions in debt. As Weiss explains, Obama tripled the previous (2005) nuclear loan guarantee program which more than triples the risk to the American people:

Tripling of the loan guarantees is also dubious political strategy because it provides huge subsidies for nuclear power without securing the support of pro-nuclear senators for comprehensive, bipartisan global warming pollution reduction legislation... 
During this time of trillion dollar deficits, this is a very imprudent use of taxpayers’ money.
See also..

Follow Karl on Twitter or Facebook or via RSS.

Nuclear power, strike 2
Even Wall Street won't touch nuclear because it is too financially risky. At least 1 out of 2 nuclear plants will fail, leaving taxpayers with the burden of deb