The US government is allocating billions of dollars to keep unprofitable nuclear plants running for longer. Many plants in the United States are outdated and face stiff competition from cheaper energy sources, such as natural gas, wind and solar. As a result, they risk going out of business early.
But according to the US government, nuclear power is of great importance in reducing emissions and combating climate change.
The US Department of Energy has come up with a civilian nuclear credit program to keep the plants running. The government provides loans worth six billion dollars (5.6 billion euros). It is expected that operators and owners of nuclear power plants will soon be able to apply for this support.
The money comes from President Joe Biden’s massive stimulus plan to invest in major infrastructure. The United States has 93 nuclear reactors, which represent about one-fifth of the country’s energy supply. The sector also fills nearly half a million jobs.
And the Energy Department has warned that half of those nuclear reactors may have to be shut down for economic reasons. Many reactors have been closed early in recent years. The United States has set itself a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The Netherlands also has plans to build new nuclear power plants. It was agreed in the coalition agreement for the current cabinet to add two power stations. France and the United Kingdom also recently announced investments in nuclear energy.