US Energy Opens US$6 Billion Subsidy Program To Keep Nuclear Lights On

The US government is determined to achieve its zero-carbon goals as it looks to provide subsidies for American nuclear power firms amid the rising prices of energy resources.

The country’s Energy Department released the guidelines for the earmarked US$6-billion subsidy program for nuclear power companies under US President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program, called Civil Nuclear Credit Program, has started accepting applications for the subsidy until its deadline on May 19, 2022.

“As part of this effort, the [law] authorizes and appropriates $6 billion for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 to establish the CNC Program to prevent closures of nuclear power plants by providing financial support for existing Nuclear Reactors projected to cease operations due to economic factors,” read the law.

The department noted that around 12 commercial reactors across the country have closed since 2013 due to “shifting energy markets and other economic factors.”

“Nuclear power currently provides 52 percent of the nation’s clean electricity, and the current fleet of reactors are [sic] a vital resource to achieve a 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050,” the department said.

For the first cycle, the department plans to execute the awarding by October 1, 2022, while selected nuclear reactors would be submitting certificates of payments annually every end of the year starting 2023 until 2026.

Applicants who were able to demonstrate that it has made a public filing of permanently ceasing their operations on or before November 15, 2021–the day the law was enacted–will be prioritized.

We’re using every tool available to get this country powered by clean energy by 2035,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a statement.

Globally, the US leads the world in nuclear power production, providing around 20% of the country’s energy needs.

U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and  Analysis
Source: EIA
Twelve U.S. states generate more than 30% of their electricity from nuclear  power - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Source: EIA

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