Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Floats Federal Subsidies For Nuclear Power Plants

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Floats Federal Subsidies For Nuclear Power Plants

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The Biden administration is floating federal support for the nuclear power industry in a bid to boost carbon-free energy to meet its emissions goals.

“The DOE has not historically subsidized plants but I think this is a moment to consider and perhaps in the American Jobs Plan or somewhere to make sure that we keep the current fleet active,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in a hearing Thursday before a House Appropriations subcommittee.  “We are not going to achieve our climate goals if our nuclear power plants shut down. We have to find ways to keep them operating.”

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The nuclear industry faces rising costs, aging infrastructure, competition from other energy sources, and political opposition.  There are plans to close reactors at two nuclear plants in Illinois this year. New York State’s Indian Point shut last month. Only one reactor has come online in the past 20 years. Two new reactors are under construction in Georgia.

Yet the US still has more than 90 operational nuclear reactors, accounting for about 20 percent of American electricity generation and more than half the country’s emission’s-free electricity. 

“President Biden’s net-zero electricity by 2035 power sector target outstrips even the greenest-leaning states’ targets to eliminate emitting generation by 2040-2050,” said Timothy Fox, vice president at ClearView Energy Partners, an energy industry analysis firm.  “Net-zero electricity by 2035 already looks like a heavy lift; doing it without

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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm floats federal subsidies for nuclear power plants

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