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March 13, 2024, 7:10AMNuclear NewsKen Petersen

Ken Petersen

There have been significant changes in the outlook for the existing U.S. nuclear fleet in the last few years. In 2021, we were looking at the early closure of units and could not even think of license extension. Since then, the combination of the U.S. government recognizing the clean-air benefits of nuclear and the impact of the war in Ukraine has resulted in a lot of positive activity on Capitol Hill for nuclear.

Several pieces of legislation have been passed in support of nuclear as law- and policymakers have recognized the important role nuclear power can play in achieving the nation’s clean-air goals. New legislation also is supporting reducing reliance on Russia for uranium enrichment by supporting the domestic production of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU).

The Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, which was part of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, included $6 billion to prevent premature retirement of existing zero-carbon nuclear plants. On January 17, the Department of Energy awarded Diablo Canyon $1.1 billion from the CNC Program to support continued operations of the plant.