Washington, DC – US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Tuesday unveiled a $2.5 billion plan to help finance a $3.6 billion loan program to buy nuclear power plant infrastructure and facilities.
Zinke announced the $100 million loan for the purchase of five reactors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.
He said the project would allow the U.S. to become the first nation in the world to get rid of nuclear power.
The program will pay for the construction of two new reactors at Three Mile Island, in Pennsylvania, as well as the purchase and refurbishment of the existing Three Mile Run plant, according to a press release from the US Department of the Treasury.
Zaland said the deal would also pay for nuclear plant safety and health programs that are being put into place at the facilities.
“We are looking to create jobs and improve our environment in order to provide our citizens with safe and affordable energy,” Zinke said in the release.
“The Department of Interior will work with Congress to ensure the safety and security of nuclear energy.”
Zinek announced the loan program in September as part of the U:Energy and Environment Act, which seeks to stimulate economic growth by investing in clean energy technologies.
The act has been criticized by some Republicans as being too much in the way of government involvement in the energy sector.
The US Energy Department estimates the purchase price for the four new reactors would be between $1.1 and $1 and a half trillion dollars, and would be built at three to five times the amount of land used for nuclear power facilities today.
The DOE plans to begin operating the nuclear power program in 2020 and would likely be operational by 2021, according the agency.
The agency’s plan calls for purchasing five new reactors for $3 billion each at two existing plants and two new plants, including the Three Mile and Three Mile Creek reactors, according a statement from Zinke’s office.
The plants are being built at two different sites in New Jersey and New York.
The total cost of the program is estimated to be about $2 billion.
Zerke also announced plans to invest $300 million to help local communities in the region transition away from nuclear power, according his statement.
Zoetrope and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission are overseeing the construction and operation of the reactors, the DOE said in a statement.