New Big Nuclear Reactors Get Support From Biden Administration

image is BloomburgMedia_SE97Y9T1UM0W00_29-05-2024_20-00-11_638525376000000000.jpg

A cooling tower at the Constellation Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba, New York, US, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Constellation Energy has paused its efforts to make hydrogen using nuclear power as the Biden administration considers limiting tax credits. Photographer: Lauren Petracca/Bloomberg

The White House is throwing its weight behind building large-scale nuclear reactors to help mitigate industry risk associated with the construction of power plants that can cost tens of billions of dollars. 

During a White House summit on domestic nuclear deployment, the Biden administration announced it is forming an expert group to focus on supporting the buildout and preventing delays. The action comes as some utilities are considering building large-scale reactors, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. 

The last commercial-scale reactor built in the US, Southern Co.’s Vogtle nuclear project, was more than $16 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule. 

The White House’s backing for nuclear, which the administration says is needed to meet climate and clean power goals, comes as a dozen reactors have closed since 2013 amid competition from cheaper power from natural gas and renewable energy sources. The Biden administration has set a goal of achieving a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Ari Natter


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