Climate draft offers new support for nuclear power

President Barack Obama also called for additional support for the industry in his recent State of the Union address. His budget includes $54.5 billion in loan guarantees for the industry, tripling the $18 billion in authority Congress has already approved.

A summary of the draft title attached to the legislative text lists several nuclear incentives:

Regulatory risk insurance to increase investor confidence and minimize the financial risks associated with prolonged regulatory delays,

Accelerated depreciation for nuclear plants;

Investment tax credits to create parity with the benefits enjoyed by wind and solar power; and

A doubling the authorization for loan guarantees from $48.5 billion to $100 billion, of which $38 billion will be available for nuclear plants.

Kerry confirmed that tax incentives and loan guarantees are part of the nuclear section.

"We have made huge progress on it and I think we have a terrific title," he told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday.

Kerry said the distribution of the draft titles has been limited.

"We have not circulated any component of this widely because we are trying to tie all the pieces together before we start having any kind of dissection," he said.

Kerry said there has also been progress on titles addressing renewable and alternative energy, natural gas and offsets.

He added that the lawmakers are still determining their exact mechanism for putting a price on carbon emissions.

Other provisions include support for worker retraining program to respond to concerns that “an aging nuclear workforce is on the brink of retirement,” according to the summary. 

Ben Geman contributed to this post.