12 Feb (NucNet): 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.
NEI president and chief executive officer Maria Korsnick welcomed the new legislation and said that it showed the US’s commitment to retain its leadership in commercial nuclear technology. Ms Korsnick said: “The bipartisan vote by both houses of Congress to allow new reactors to receive the nuclear production tax-credit also was a vote for continued American leadership in nuclear energy, environmental stewardship and thousands of jobs.”
The nuclear PTC provision is part of a much larger piece of legislation that seeks to reform the country’s tax code.