Dear Mr. Boehler: The creation of the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has opened the door for more effective and efficient U.S. development activities in emerging economies. As directed in the BUILD Act of 2018, the DFC’s stated mission is to achieve the international development goals of the U.S. while also spurring U.S. economic interests. In line with this mission, the DFC should lift the existing restriction to financing civil nuclear development.
Lifting the prohibition opens the door for advanced nuclear energy technologies to be a key cog in the development of emerging economies. Breakthrough nuclear energy technologies are smaller in size, lower in costs, flexible, and provide carbon-free power. This advanced nuclear energy technology can be deployed on its own or in coordination with other energy sources in order to create a cost-effective and reliable grid that supports industrial activity and load growth. There are also an increasing number of nuclear reactor designs and concepts such as microreactors, being developed in the U.S., that may offer the very best, most affordable means to power remote communities, health centers, or schools. Put simply, advanced nuclear’s inclusion in a technology-neutral DFC portfolio will allow developing countries to seek the energy options that meet their specific development needs.