WASHINGTON D.C. (July 28, 2023) The following statement may be attributed to Nuclear Innovation Alliance Executive Director Judi Greenwald:
“We believe in the promise and potential of advanced nuclear energy, and we’re excited to see continued bipartisan support for the development and deployment of advanced reactors. Efficient and effective licensing and a sustainable, domestic, commercial fuel cycle for advanced reactors are both critical to successful deployment and operation of advanced nuclear technologies that can provide significant clean energy and energy security benefits.
“Yesterday the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed two important amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act: Amendment #999 introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and co-sponsored by Senators Manchin, Risch and Brown, directs the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) to increase efforts to support development of a domestic, commercial fuel cycle for advanced reactors; and Amendment #870, which includes the text of the ADVANCE Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Capito, Carper and Whitehouse, which includes significant Nuclear Regulatory Commission reforms that will encourage advanced nuclear energy commercialization.
“Amendment 999 (the Nuclear Fuel Security Act) will enable the DOE to help increase domestic production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) for existing reactors and prioritize programs that increase the availability of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU) for advanced reactors. The amendment passed by a vote of 96-3 for inclusion in the fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We’re grateful to the bipartisan group of senators for their leadership on this important topic and continued efforts in the Senate to prioritize advanced reactor fuel cycles.
“Amendment 870 (The ADVANCE Act) makes nuclear reactor licensing more affordable, predictable, and efficient. It improves how NRC charges fees to applicants, authorizes hiring incentives to address NRC’s workforce issues, and establishes prizes to cover licensing costs for early movers. We’re grateful to the bipartisan group of Senators for their leadership on this legislation.
“We hope the conference committee that meets later this year to harmonize the Senate and House versions of the NDAA will include both of these vital, bipartisan efforts to ensure advanced nuclear energy can contribute to the nation’s climate, energy and economic goals.”
To learn about HALEU and LEU funding needs, see our Brief here. To learn more about the urgency of NRC reform, see our Brief here.
The Nuclear Innovation Alliance is a non-profit think-and-do-tank working to enable nuclear power as a global solution to mitigate climate change. Through policy analysis, research, and education, we are catalyzing the next era of nuclear energy. Our organization is funded primarily through charitable grants and philanthropic donations from climate-concerned individuals and organizations.