Public Feedback Will Inform Guidance for Applicants of Nuclear Facilities Projected to Close Due to Economic Circumstances

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released draft guidance for the second award cycle of the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, authorized by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to prevent the premature retirement of nuclear reactors across the country. The CNC Program supports the continued operations of nuclear reactors to ensure the availability of clean, baseload and preserve thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs. As the nation’s largest source of carbon free energy, nuclear energy is critical to meeting the President’s goal of achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. 

“The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law recognizes the contributions of our nation’s existing nuclear reactor fleet in providing reliable, clean power to millions of households and supporting nearly half a million U.S. jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE remains committed to supporting the nation’s current fleet of nuclear power plants to meet President Biden’s grid reliability and climate goals, and we welcome all feedback to the draft guidance for the next group of CNC Program applicants.” 

Data shows that closing nuclear power plants can result in an increase in air pollutants and carbon emissions. That’s because fossil fuel plants typically fill the void left by carbon-free nuclear facilities. Further, shifting energy markets and other economic factors have already led to the early closures of 13 commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States in the last decade. This has led to a rise in emissions and poorer air quality in surrounding areas, and the loss of thousands of clean energy jobs that contribute to building strong local economies.  

DOE is requesting feedback on the draft guidance for the application to the CNC’s second award cycle, which describes the timelines, deliverables, and supporting information needed from eligible owners or operators of nuclear power reactors that are projected to shut down due to economic circumstances within the next four years. Feedback is requested by 5 pm Eastern Time on November 4, 2022. 

Applications for CNC’s first awards cycle closed on September 6, 2022. Any nuclear reactors that are issued conditional award decisions will be publicly announced along with the number of credits allocated as soon as 30 days following close of the application period. 

Learn more about the CNC Program and the Grid Deployment Office.