House GOP energy agenda features nuclear-related legislation

March 18, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

In response to House Democrats’ introduction on March 2 of a massive energy bill, the CLEAN Future Act, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have unveiled their own, more modest energy agenda—a package of existing legislation that they say would “secure America’s energy future and global competitive edge against China.”

McMorris Rodgers

According to a March 15 press release from the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), along with Reps. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and David McKinley (R., W.Va.), the GOP plan will address climate change risks and spur the development and deployment of clean energy infrastructure without the “pie-in-the-sky” mandates, regulations, and federal government spending advocated by the Democrats.

What they’re saying: “This package will modernize and improve our energy infrastructure and promote an all-of-the-above energy strategy across the board, including solutions to unleash innovation in hydropower, nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas,” the Republican lawmakers state. “These are real, workable solutions to make energy cleaner, reduce emissions, prioritize energy security, and keep energy costs low.”

The nuclear package: Included in the House Republicans’ energy agenda are the following nuclear-related bills:

H.R. 1351, the Nuclear Prosperity and Security Act, directs the secretary of energy to establish and operate a uranium reserve in the United States, ensuring the availability of uranium in the event of market disruption, and supports America’s strategic fuel cycle capabilities.

■ H.R. 1559, the Modernize Nuclear Reactor Environmental Reviews Act, modernizes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing process by reducing duplication and facilitating efficient environmental reviews.

■ H.R. 1578, the Nuclear Licensing Efficiency Act, streamlines nuclear power plant permitting and licensing by establishing reasonable timelines and other reforms for efficient, timely NRC decisions.

■ H.R. 1698, the Nuclear Industrial Base Act of 2021, establishes the Nuclear Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program within the Department of Energy to monitor and assess the needs of the domestic nuclear industry and supports partnerships between the federal government and private entities to develop and deploy nuclear power assets.

■ H.R. 1746, the Advanced Nuclear Deployment Act, facilitates the efficient licensing and deployment of advanced civilian nuclear technologies, including microreactors, expedites NRC decisions on new builds of proven designs, and authorizes certain long-term power purchase agreements.

■ H.R. 1748, the Strengthening American Nuclear Competitiveness Act, expedites the DOE’s review of certain nuclear technology exports, enables increased investment in U.S. nuclear technology by American allies, and promotes efficient licensing for new nonelectric uses of nuclear energy and for new manufacturing techniques to build American nuclear reactors faster and at lower cost.

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