Apr 20, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Energy Dept. readies to throw its nuclear lifeline

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Energy Department has opened the doors for power companies to seek subsidies aimed at preventing nuclear reactors from shutting down.

Why it matters: Early closure of financially struggling plants would hobble White House climate goals by taking large amounts of zero-carbon generation offline.

  • Nuclear energy currently provides roughly one-fifth of U.S. electricity.

Driving the news: DOE on Tuesday solicited bids for $6 billion worth of support available under the bipartisan infrastructure law, with applications for the first funding cycle due May 19.

What they're saying: “We’re using every tool available to get this country powered by clean energy by 2035," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

  • "That includes prioritizing our existing nuclear fleet to allow for continued emissions-free electricity generation and economic stability for the communities leading this important work.”
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