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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


The nuclear energy industry in the United States has struggled to stay afloat financially due to extraordinarily high construction and financing costs, leading reactors to retire prematurely. These closures leave massive gaps in clean energy production, inherently jeopardizing the ability of the U.S. to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The federal government should take initiative to help struggling nuclear facilities to maintain its current output and reverse the current backsliding the industry is experiencing. This essay discusses two policy options, including a subsidy for nuclear facility construction and an enhanced nuclear production tax credit. As electricity demand continues to grow into the future, federal investment in domestic nuclear energy would yield significant benefits for energy infrastructure and technological advancement and help mitigate the climate crisis.

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