The Biden administration has pledged one other $1.2 billion to assist lengthen the working lifetime of older or distressed nuclear energy crops, with Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm saying nuclear energy is required to assist the nation’s clear power targets.
The funding, introduced by the Dept. of Vitality (DOE) on March 2, is the second tranche of monetary assist included within the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit score Program that was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation handed by Congress in 2021.
“President Biden’s $6 billion funding within the Civil Nuclear Credit score Program made it abundantly clear that preserving the home nuclear fleet is crucial to reaching America’s clear power future,” stated Granholm. “Increasing the scope of this Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation funding will permit much more nuclear services the chance to proceed working as financial drivers in native communities that profit from low cost, clear, and dependable energy.”
The president’s local weather group has stated nuclear energy, as a supply of carbon-free electrical energy, must be preserved and expanded to achieve the administration’s objective of 100% clear electrical energy manufacturing by 2035. The administration additionally needs to maintain reactors on-line whereas the nation continues to construct extra energy technology from renewable power assets.
92 Working Reactors in U.S.
There are presently 92 working nuclear reactors throughout the U.S., in response to the DOE, after the closure of 13 models prior to now decade. The cash on this second spherical of funding is out there to crops liable to closure inside just a few years. It additionally is out there to nuclear energy crops which have stopped working after Nov. 15, 2021.
The cash might assist reopening the 800-MW Palisades Nuclear Producing Station in Michigan that was closed in Could 2022. The plant, which was operated by Entergry and is now owned by Holtec Worldwide, had its software for funding rejected throughout the first spherical of monetary assist from the credit score program. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been a proponent of bringing Palisades again on-line.
Holtec officers in February stated it could take greater than $1 billion to reopen Palisades, which had operated for greater than 50 years. The group has utilized for a distinct supply of funding, from the DOE’s Mortgage Packages Workplace, to reopen the plant positioned in Covert Township. Holtec purchased the plant in June of final yr for decommissioning, earlier than making its first software to restart the power the next month.
Patrick O’Brien, director of presidency affairs for Holtec, in an emailed assertion after Thursday’s announcement wrote, “That is nice information for the trade, and our nation, to think about nuclear so very important for our power future that the concept of what we try to perform with Palisades, returning a shutdown nuclear plant again to operation, is one thing that ought to occur.”
Pacific Fuel & Electrical (PG&E), operator of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Energy Plant in California, was awarded $1.1 billion in conditional funding throughout the first award cycle. The Nuclear Regulatory Fee on Thursday accepted PG&E’s request for an exemption that would permit the two,300-MW plant to proceed working previous its scheduled 2025 closure date.
Functions for the second spherical of program funding will shut on Could 31.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior affiliate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).