Citing the need for nuclear power in combatting climate disruption, the Biden administration has launched a $6 billion effort to save nuclear power plants at risk of closing.
The program, which allows nuclear reactor operators to apply for funding to avoid closure, as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure deal signed into law last year, represents the largest federal investment in rescuing financially distressed nuclear reactors.
Currently, U.S. nuclear power contributes more than half of the country’s carbon-free electricity — operating across 28 states from 55 commercial nuclear power plants — and about 20 percent of its total electricity.
“The importance of this program cannot be understated, as we work to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of our nuclear fleet in the U.S. in order to meet our goals in addressing climate disruption,” said Ian Horvath, CEO and founder of Serva Energy. “What’s more, we need to expand the development and production of new technologies to make these nuclear plants economically viable."
According to the Associated Press, the majority of U.S. states — roughly two-thirds — agree that nuclear will help replace fossil fuels. However, a dozen U.S. commercial nuclear power reactors have closed in the last decade due to rising costs, needed repairs and competition from cheaper energy sources.
As a result, these regions are experiencing a rise in emissions, poorer air quality and the removal of thousands of high-paying jobs.
If nuclear reactors end up closing before their licenses expire, according to the Department of Energy, carbon emissions are expected to increase — a movement that would run counter to the country’s economic and environmental goals.
"The Serva digital systems, alone, will have a major impact on modernizing our country’s nuclear infrastructure,” said Horvath.