The US Congress has passed a budget bill that extends the nuclear production tax-credit (PTC), which will apply to new nuclear power plants coming into service after 31 December 2020, Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said. The NEI, which represents the US nuclear industry, said the bill allows the secretary of energy to allocate credits up to a 6,000-MW capacity limit for the first new nuclear reactor units put into service after 31 December 2020. The 2005 Energy Policy Act provided a tax credit of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced from new reactors, but set a deadline of 2020 for the plants to be in service. The new bill removes that deadline and ensures that the two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors being built at Southern Nuclear Operating Company’s Vogtle site in Georgia can benefit from the credit. The 6,000-MW capacity limit also means that the PTC will benefit plans by NuScale Power and its consortium partners to build a commercial small modular reactor power station at the Idaho National Laboratory by 2026, the NEI said.
Nucnet 12th Feb 2018 read more »
President Donald Trump is proposing a boost in funding for nuclear weapons and fossil fuels programs at the expense of science and renewable energy initiatives. The president’s fiscal year 2019 spending plan, released Monday, seeks $30.6 billion for the Department of Energy. That is a $2.6 billion increase over DOE’s requested budget for the current fiscal year. About $1.1 billion of the increase in the DOE’s budget would go to the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons programs, including work at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories. DOE spends more money in New Mexico — about $5 billion a year — than in any other state, and an increase in the department’s budget could be a financial shot in the arm for New Mexico’s struggling economy. Energy Department officials said the president’s budget request revolved around the need to modernize the nation’s nuclear arsenal, with nearly $780 million more for weapons programs over fiscal year 2018.
Sante Fe New Mexican 12th Feb 2018 read more »
South Carolina members of Congress have been fighting for years to protect an over-budget, behind-schedule project at a local nuclear facility. The battle to save the effort has gotten even tougher. Not even White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, who until a year ago was a former South Carolina Republican congressman, is willing or able to intervene. In previous years, the state’s majority-Republican congressional delegation was able to rebuff a Democratic president’s opposition to the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication, or MOX, program at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. But having a Republican president is proving to be no help. For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump is taking the same stance that the program should end.
Miami Herald 13th Feb 2018 read more »