Construction of power upgrades, small modular and advanced nuclear reactors are now eligible for funding under the Energy Dept.’s $12.5-billion nuclear loan guarantee program, the White House announced on Nov. 6 as part of a nuclear energy summit. Additionally, the money can be used toward design certification, construction permits and combined construction-and-operating licenses. The availability of the money could be a lifeline to a struggling nuclear industry that is facing shutdowns of existing nuclear reactors and pushback from consumer advocates who oppose spending the millions of dollars needed for a utility to consider building a new nuclear reactor. The administration also announced several other steps, including new help and data from the Energy Dept. as well as a voucher program for small businesses.