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White House summit pledges to support nuclear development via World Nuclear News

The US Administration has underlined its vision of a strong role for nuclear in the country’s clean energy strategy. It has announced actions to sustain and finance nuclear energy, including supplements to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) federal loan guarantee solicitation to support nuclear energy projects.

At the White House summit on nuclear energy, held on 6 November, the Administration announced that the DOE’s existing solicitation of $12.5 billion in loan guarantees available to support innovative nuclear energy projects would be supplemented. The solicitation for projects, including the construction of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear facilities eligible for such support, was announced in December 2014. The new supplement clarifies that costs incurred by an eligible project as part of the NRC licensing process, such as design certification, construction permits, combined construction and operating licences, might also be eligible for a DOE loan guarantee.

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Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) president and CEO Marvin Fertel said that the NEI and its members greatly appreciated the Administration’s decision to hold the summit ahead of upcoming international climate change talks to be held in Paris in December. “In the United States, nuclear energy is by far the largest source of zero-carbon power, generating 63% of the electricity from emission-free sources. This reality makes it clear that any credible, sustainable program to reduce carbon emissions must preserve existing reactors, encourage licence renewal and encourage the construction of new nuclear energy facilities,” he said.

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