DOE extends application deadline for nuclear credit program

May 18, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy today announced an extension to its deadline for applications and sealed bid submissions under the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, launched earlier this year.

According to the DOE, owners and operators of nuclear power reactors most at risk of premature retirement due to economic difficulties have 47 more days to submit applications for certification and sealed bids for credits. The deadline for the first CNC award cycle, originally set for tomorrow, is now 11:59 p.m. MDT on July 5.

The CNC Program is included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan measure signed by President Biden last November, in recognition of the current reactor fleet’s environmental and economic benefits, such as providing 52 percent of the nation’s carbon-free electricity.

“The Civil Nuclear Credit Program will help the United States meet our climate goals while protecting jobs and the communities that depend on these plants,” said Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy. “We received a request to extend the application period, which could keep at-risk reactors online, delivering much needed clean energy to the grid.”

As reported by Reuters, the Nuclear Energy Institute and Edison Electric Institute sent a letter to energy secretary Jennifer Granholm yesterday asking for additional time for their members to consider applying for CNC Program funds. The original deadline “provided a relatively short window for companies to assess whether nuclear reactors they own and operate could qualify, given the complex certification and other requirements,” the letter stated.

Credits where credits are due: The first CNC award cycle is open to owners or operators of U.S. nuclear reactors that have already publicly announced the projected closing of their reactor prior to September 30, 2026, due to economic factors. The DOE published guidance on how to apply last month.

The department is simultaneously developing guidance for the second award cycle under the CNC Program, which will be open to additional units. The next opportunity to apply will be in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, the DOE said.

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