President Obama has called out for a new generation of nuclear power plants in the USA and incentives for clean energy technologies.

In his State of the Union address to Congress on 27 January Obama said:“To create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country… And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.

The announcement has been welcomed by industry in the US. Nuclear Energy Institute president and chief executive officer Marvin Fertel said: “The nuclear energy industry pledges to work with President Obama and Congress to enact policies that stimulate the expeditious development of clean-energy technologies, including new nuclear energy facilities.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that the Department of Energy is looking to triple the amount of loan guarantees available for new nuclear reactors, from $18.5bn to more than $54 billion. Quoting unnamed sources Bloomberg said Obama’s 2011 budget, to be released on 1 February, will include $36 billion of additional loan guarantees.