Latest Award Cycle Expands Funding Eligibility for Aging Nuclear Reactors, Advances Program Goals to Prevent Premature Closure of America’s Nuclear Fleet and Maintain Widespread Generation of Clean, Resilient and Affordable Power
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released application guidance for the second award cycle of the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program (BIL provision 40323), a $6 billion investment made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to prevent the premature retirement of nuclear reactors across the country. Nuclear reactors are a reliable and consistent energy resource with stable generation capacity allowing the grid to more effectively integrate electricity from variable energy resources like solar and wind, while providing all Americans access to clean, resilient and affordable electricity, anytime, anywhere. While the first award cycle limited eligibility to owners or operators of nuclear power reactors that had announced intentions to retire within the four-year award period, the second award cycle is open to owners or operators of nuclear reactors that are at risk of closure by the end of the four-year award period, including such reactors that ceased operations after November 15, 2021. As the nation’s largest source of carbon free energy, nuclear energy is critical to meeting the President’s goal of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035.
“President Biden’s $6 billion investment in the Civil Nuclear Credit Program made it abundantly clear that preserving the domestic nuclear fleet is critical to reaching America’s clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Expanding the scope of this Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will allow even more nuclear facilities the opportunity to continue operating as economic drivers in local communities that benefit from cheap, clean, and reliable power.”
Nuclear reactors support energy independence by ensuring the reliable availability of clean, resilient, and affordable power for homes and businesses across the country. However, 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. Data shows that closing nuclear power plants can lead to an increase in air pollutants and carbon emissions, which results in poorer air quality in surrounding areas and the loss of thousands of clean energy jobs that contribute to building strong local economies. The CNC Program promotes the continued operations of nuclear reactors to ensure the availability of clean electricity that reduces the nation’s reliance on fossil energy and preserves thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs.
On November 21, 2022, DOE announced the conditional selection of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, located near Avila Beach, California, to receive the first round of funding from the CNC Program.
The application guidelines in the guidance released today describe the timelines, deliverables, and supporting information needed to apply for certification and submit sealed bids to receive allocated credits. Applications for the second CNC award cycle must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on May 31, 2023.
All awards are conditional based on terms to be negotiated and finalized by DOE.