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What is the Civil Nuclear Credit Program?

The Civil Nuclear Credit Program is a $6 billion strategic investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to help preserve the existing U.S. reactor fleet and save thousands of high-paying jobs across the country.

Under the new program, owners or operators of commercial U.S. reactors can apply for certification to bid on credits to support their continued operations. An application must demonstrate the reactor is projected to close for economic reasons and that closure will lead to a rise in air pollutants and carbon emissions. The Secretary of Energy must also determine that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reasonable assurance that the reactor will continue operating safely.

Credits will be allocated to selected certified reactors over a four-year period beginning on the date of the selection and credits can be awarded through September 30, 2031, if funds remain available.

Civil Nuclear Credit Program Guidance

The U.S. Department of Energy is now seeking applications for certification and sealed bid submissions under the Civil Nuclear Credit Program to support the continued operation of U.S. nuclear reactors. CNC Program Guidance was developed to direct owners or operators of nuclear power reactors on how to apply for funding to avoid premature closure. This includes instructions on formulating and submitting sealed bids for potential allocation of credits. 

Click above to review Civil Nuclear Credit Program Guidance

DOE has extended the application deadline for the first CNC awards cycle. Applications for certification and sealed bids for credits for the first CNC award cycle must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on September 6, 2022

Resources

Click above to view CNC Program public feedback.

Click above to view CNC Program information resources.

Why Do We Need the Civil Nuclear Credit Program?

The BIL recognizes the contributions of our nation’s existing nuclear reactor fleet in providing reliable, clean power to millions of households. The BIL supports continued operations of these clean energy sources and the nearly half a million U.S. jobs in the nuclear industry.  

Shifting energy markets and other economic factors have already led to early closures of 13 commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States, and more economically at-risk facilities could retire in the coming years. Data show that closing nuclear power plants results in an increase in air pollutants and carbon emissions because fossil fuel plants typically fill the void left by carbon-free nuclear facilities. 

The nation’s current fleet of nuclear power plants is vital to achieving the nation's goals of a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.