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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

Biden-Harris Administration's Bold Moves to Energize the Domestic Nuclear Industry

In a landmark initiative, the Biden-Harris Administration is ramping up efforts to bolster the domestic nuclear industry, recognizing its pivotal role in achieving America’s clean energy goals and economic growth. Nuclear power, a cornerstone of clean energy, has long been a significant contributor, accounting for 19% of total energy produced in the United States last year. With nearly 60,000 workers in the industry, the administration aims to leverage nuclear energy's clean, reliable power to meet the nation’s energy needs while creating high-paying jobs.

At the forefront of this initiative is the White House Summit on Domestic Nuclear Deployment, showcasing progress from both public and private sectors. Under President Biden’s leadership, significant strides have been made, including reducing reliance on Russian uranium, developing new reactor designs, and extending the service lives of existing nuclear reactors. The administration’s commitment to decarbonize the power system, which accounts for a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, underscores the urgency of the challenge.

Key initiatives include the establishment of a Nuclear Power Project Management and Delivery working group to mitigate project risks and ensure cost-effective deployment. The United States Army’s plan to deploy advanced reactors for resilient energy at multiple sites further underscores the administration’s commitment to nuclear innovation. Additionally, the Department of Energy is releasing tools to enhance safety and reduce capital costs for advanced nuclear reactors.

The completion of units 3 and 4 of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, with support from the DOE Loan Programs Office, marks a significant milestone in revitalizing the industry. The administration’s focus on enabling first movers to deploy advanced technologies is evident through various funding programs and partnerships with industry stakeholders.

Streamlining licensing processes for new reactors and extending the life of existing ones is another key aspect of the administration’s strategy. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s efforts to reform its licensing and permitting processes ensure safety without compromising efficiency.

Advancing the nuclear supply chain and workforce is central to the administration’s vision. Initiatives such as banning Russian uranium imports, jumpstarting enrichment capacity in the U.S., and funding nuclear workforce training programs underscore the administration’s commitment to energy security and reducing dependencies.

Collectively, these actions represent a significant push to accelerate civil nuclear deployment in the United States. President Biden’s commitment to reestablishing U.S. leadership in the nuclear industry reflects a comprehensive strategy to drive innovation, ensure energy security, and combat climate change.

Source: The White House, May 29, 2024


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