Under the new bipartisan infrastructure legislation, nuclear power reactors have been allocated $6 billion. This move is supported by the Biden administration and Senator Joe Machin, who is an advocate for nuclear reactor incentives and the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Nuclear energy is a zero-emission, clean-energy source that generates power through uranium atoms splitting in a process known as fission. It produces more electricity on less land in comparison to other clean-energy sources and is also carbon free. Estimates from the Nuclear Energy Institute also show that the United States avoided more than 475 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 through the use of nuclear energy.
However, the move to incentivize nuclear energy producers was opposed by some environmentalists and progressives who have issues with the risk of accidents, mining uranium for reactor fuel and radioactive waste.
In addition to the funds, a program whose purpose will be to assess nuclear reactors that are soon to be shut down and offer them aid would also be established in the Department of Energy.
The assistance for nuclear power, which provides nearly 20% of the country’s electricity, comes at a time when some reactors in the sector are no longer in use having been shut down due to the growing use of cheaper electricity produced using renewables and natural gas. The proposed aid could help uranium miners such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) as well as operators such as Exelon Corp. and Southern Co.
Under the proposed program, nuclear reactors using enriched uranium that is mined domestically will be the top priority. The Biden Administration has revealed that maintaining the country’s fleet of nuclear power is necessary for the country to meet its climate goals. Those U.S. climate goals include a carbon-free economy by the year 2050, a 50% to 52% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions below levels recorded in 2005 by the year 2030 and a carbon-free electric grid by 2035.
Earlier in April, the Indian Point nuclear power plant located in New York, which is owned by Entergy Corp, was shut down; this brought the number of nuclear reactors in operation in the country down to 93. Twenty years ago, the total number of nuclear reactors in operation in the U.S. was 104. A report released by Rhodium Group earlier this year predicts that more than one-half of the country’s nuclear fleet will have retired by the year 2030 if no policy changes are made.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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