Money from the bipartisan infrastructure package President Biden signed into law last year will help fund a program designed to support U.S. nuclear power plants, according to The Washington Post.
Why it’s happening: The Biden administration has included nuclear power plants as part of its plan in achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Nuclear reactors currently supply more emission-free power in the United States than all other forms of renewable energy sources combined.
The plan: A new civil nuclear credit program will allow operators of nuclear power plants that are at risk of shutting down to request and receive government funding.
- “It aims to give a financial lifeline to plants facing imminent shutdown for economic reasons. The first round of credits are set aside for plants that have already announced plans to close. There are at least two such operations in the United States: Diablo Canyon in California and Palisades in Michigan.”
The scope: “[T]he nation still has a sizable nuclear fleet, with 55 plants in 28 states. Most of them have at least two reactors. Many of them have fallen under financial hardship as the prices of renewable energy and natural gas dropped in recent years. As energy prices rise in the United States and abroad, nuclear is getting a fresh look…In Georgia, two new reactors are scheduled to come online next year.”
A word from the secretary: “U.S. nuclear power plants contribute more than half of our carbon-free electricity, and President Biden is committed to keeping these plants active to reach our clean energy goals,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Our take: “Nuclear energy must be a prominent part of the conversation when we talk about clean energy,” said NAM Director of Energy and Resources Policy Chris Morris. “Unfortunately, we have seen a trend of nuclear plants shutting down ahead of their sunset dates and consumer energy prices continue to rise. Manufacturers support an all-of-the-above approach when it comes to energy and applaud the Biden administration for taking steps to support nuclear power. We look forward to continuing to work with this administration on this and other clean energy initiatives.”