Exelon, owner and operator of the nation’s largest nuclear reactor fleet, has made clear its position on the massive infrastructure and social spending bills that federal lawmakers, at this writing, continue to haggle over.
“As world leaders convene in Glasgow for COP26 to address the climate crisis, the need for America to take action has never been more urgent,” said Chris Crane, Exelon’s president and chief executive officer, on Monday. “The bipartisan infrastructure agreement and the policy framework for Build Back Better legislation will make us more competitive globally, spur innovation and support good-paying jobs, protect current and future generations from the worst impacts of climate change, and cement America’s leadership on one of the most pressing challenges—and opportunities—of our time. The time to act is now, and we encourage lawmakers to pass these critical policies into law.”
Bill basics: The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) and the (currently) $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) both contain substantial nuclear-related provisions. H.R. 3684, for instance, would help aging nuclear power plants stay in business and boost the development of small modular reactors. It sets aside $6 billion to support nuclear facilities under threat of early retirement due to economic factors and $6 billion to fund SMRs, microreactors, and advanced reactors.
H.R. 5376 aims to head off more plant closures with a nuclear production tax credit worth three cents per kWh through 2026. The credit is expected to cost $15 billion. In addition, the measure would provide a $3-per-kilogram tax credit for hydrogen production using renewables, with a reduced credit available to other technologies, including natural gas with carbon capture and nuclear energy. In total, the clean hydrogen credits are worth $9 billion over a decade.