DOE Establishes $6 Billion Civil Nuclear Credit Program

February 13, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
February 13, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently a notice of intent (NOI) and request for information (RFI) on the implementation of the infrastructure law’s $6 billion civil nuclear credit program, which supports the continued operation of U.S. nuclear reactors.

Both the NOI and RFI “are critical first steps to help avoid premature retirements of nuclear reactors across the country,” DOE said.

The newly enacted infrastructure law created the Civil Nuclear Credit Program (CNC), allowing owners or operators of commercial U.S. reactors to apply for certification and competitively bid on credits to help support their continued operations.

The RFI seeks input on the structure and execution of the CNC program, including the certification process and eligibility criteria, invitations to submit bids for credits, and the allocation of credits.

DOE seeks input from all interested parties, including but not limited to nuclear reactor owners and operators, state and local regulators and officials, Tribes, impacted community partners, environmental advocacy groups, and other partners involved in clean energy and electric generation, distribution, and planning.

Under the law, applications must prove that the reactor will close for economic reasons and demonstrate that closure will lead to a rise in air pollution.

DOE must also determine that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reasonable assurance that the reactor will continue to operate safely. Credits will be allocated over a four-year period beginning on the date of selection to reactors that are certified by the Department.

The NOI informs interested parties of DOE’s plans to seek applications and provide potential applicants the opportunity to submit voluntary, non-binding expressions of interest in the CNC program. 

Responses to the NOI and RFI addressing general program design and bid process are requested no later than 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on March 17, 2022. 

Substantive responses relating specifically to the certification process should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on March 8, 2022 to ensure that this feedback can be used to meet DOE’s expedited schedule.

Additional information is available here.