Sunday, October 2, 2022

Biden launches $ 6 billion effort to save worried nuclear plants

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The Biden administration is making a $ 6 billion effort to save endangered nuclear power plants, citing the need to maintain a nuclear-free source of energy to combat climate change.

Shortly before the official announcement, the US Department of Energy told the Associated Press that a certificate and bidding process for the nuclear-armed nuclear power plant was launched on Tuesday. It is a major federal investment in rescuing financially troubled nuclear power plants.

Owners or operators of nuclear power plants that are expected to shut down for economic reasons may apply for financial assistance to ensure that they do not close early. The first round of prizes will be given to the rectifiers who announced their intention to close.

The second round will open to more vulnerable institutions. The program is funded by a $ 1 trillion infrastructure agreement signed by President Joe Biden in November..

“US nuclear power plants provide more than half of the world’s carbon-free electricity, and President Biden is committed to keeping these plants active to achieve our clean energy goals,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “By 2035, we are using all the tools we can to make this country a cleaner country.

Most states – two-thirds – say nuclear, in one fashion or another, helping to take the place of fossil fuels. 12 Commercial nuclear power plants in the United States have been shut down for the past decade before their licenses expired, often due to low natural gas competition, high operating costs, low electricity prices, or major repairs.

This has led to an increase in emissions, poor air quality, and the loss of thousands of high-paying jobs in those regions, causing economic hardship to local communities, the DOE said. A quarter or more of the ships are in danger, DOE added. The current owners of seven reactors have announced plans to retire by 2025.

Most US nuclear power plants were built between 1970 and 1990 and are costly to build aging ships. The only nuclear power plant under construction in the United States is Georgia. Expenditure has become balloon and another delay has been announced in February.

Closed reactors include the Indian Point Power Center in New York, the Massachusetts Pilgrim nuclear power plant, the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska, and the Duan Arnold Energy Center in Iowa. Entergy cited lower natural gas prices and an increase in operating costs As a key factor in last year’s decision to close India Point. Officials in New York sought the closure and said the plant, 24 miles (39 km) north of Manhattan, posed a serious threat to the millions of people living and working nearby.

According to the Institute of Nuclear Energy, twenty more reactors have been shut down over the past decade. Illinois is spending nearly $ 700 million to open three plants when more renewable resources come online.

Low electricity prices are a major cause of this trend, although federal and state policies have contributed to increasing wind and solar power, NEI added.

There are 55 commercial nuclear power plants with 28 nuclear power plants in 28 states. Nuclear power provides 20% of the world’s electricity or half of the country’s carbon-free energy.

If reactors close before their licenses expire, fossil fuels could fill the gap and increase emissions, which could be a major obstacle, said Andrew Griffith, DOE’s assistant secretary of nuclear energy.

While natural gas may be cheap, nuclear energy has not been thanked for its contribution to carbon-free grids, which has led to financial problems for nuclear factories, Griffith added.

David Schleszel, of the Ohio Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said he would like the federal government to analyze whether the money could be used to improve renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency before allocating $ 6 billion. Projects, which can be done to disperse fossils quickly and cheaply.

Now that the money has been earmarked for nuclear plants, the federal tax credit will have to invest heavily in renewable energy and energy efficiency because the sooner it is done, the lower the country’s dependence on fossils and its emission. He also said that the nuclear power plants would eventually retire, some of which would be delayed, so they should be available when working on carbon-free energy sources.

The Conspiracy Club has a nuclear-free campaign.

California to close its last remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025. Officials there think it could be replaced by new solar, wind and battery storage resources, although skeptics have questioned whether California’s comprehensive renewable energy plan could be implemented in the near future.

The Department of Energy plans to receive annual applications for the Civil Nuclear Credit Program in Budget 2031, or $ 6 billion. Nuclear plant owners or operators can bid on credit for financial support to continue their work. In order to qualify, planters or operators must show that they are retiring for economic reasons and that emissions may increase. The department determines that you can work safely with the input of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Maria Korsnik, president and CEO of NEII, thinks the federal program will improve the playing field for nuclear power and help pave the way for more robust policies, such as Biden’s existing nuclear program.

Democrats say they hope to revitalize the social and environmental sectors and win over voters who have grown weary of the two-year-old epidemic and cope with severe inflation in decades.


McDonald reports from Providence Road Island.


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