The Biden administration has voiced strong support for commercial nuclear energy as an essential element of the President’s goal of achieving “clean” electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Last week, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Agency), announced a regulatory milestone that inches the advanced nuclear technology sector closer to commercialization of small modular reactor (SMR) technology.
This week saw two key milestones for nuclear power, signaling advancement in an industry viewed as critical to securing reliable and carbon-free baseload power for the future. On Monday, March 6, Georgia Power announced that the Vogtle Unit 3 pressurized water reactor achieved initial criticality, meaning nuclear fission was self-sustaining and able to generate the heat necessary to deliver electricity to the grid. The unit is slated to come online in the coming months and is approved to operate under a 40-year Nuclear Regulatory Commission Combined Operating License.