Facing South

INSTITUTE INDEX: Nuclear-powered politics

Amount the nuclear power industry spent on lobbying from 2000 to 2010: $600 million

Amount the industry spent during that same period on campaign contributions: nearly $63 million

Amount the Nuclear Energy Institute -- an industry trade group whose members include the company that owns the imperiled Japanese nuclear plant -- spent lobbying the federal government during the past three years: $6.12 million

Number of federal lobbyists on the NEI's roster: more than 20

Amount that Atlanta's Southern Company, which has major nuclear investments and is seeking to build new reactors, has spent on federal lobbying efforts each year since 2004: at least $10 million

Amount that the PAC for Duke Energy, which is also planning to build new nuclear reactors, spent during the 2010 election: $1.45 million

Percent of Duke Energy PAC's money that went to Democrats: 55

Amount of credit line that North Carolina-based Duke Energy recently guaranteed for the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte: $10 million

Under new Democratic Party rules, amount at which corporate contributions for the convention are supposed to be capped: $100,000

Amount Duke Energy plans to spend building new reactors that still need state and federal approvals: $11 billion

Date on which the German government called for a "measured exit" from nuclear power and a speedy transition to renewable energy: 3/17/2011

Date on which the Chinese government said it would suspend approvals for nuclear power plants so it can conduct safety checks: 3/16/2011

Date on which Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the Obama administration would press ahead with efforts to encourage new reactor construction: 3/16/2011

Date on which President Obama said he asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a safety review of existing nuclear plants while stating that nuclear power remains "an important part of our own energy future": 3/17/2011

Since the Japanese crisis erupted last week, number of U.S. lawmakers who have been briefed by NEI lobbyists seeking to head off any restrictions on nuclear power: about 50

Total amount the White House is seeking in taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees, $8.3 billion of which have already been set aside already for two new reactors at Southern Co.' s Plant Vogtle in Georgia.: $54 billion

Amount the nuclear power industry has received in federal subsidies since its inception in 1948: tens of billions

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