A Statement from Craig Piercy, CEO and Executive Director of the American Nuclear Society on President Biden’s FY22 budget request
"The American Nuclear Society welcomes the release of President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request. As the scientific and professional organization for over 10,000 nuclear engineers and technologists in the U.S., we applaud the administration’s support for federal investments in advanced nuclear energy and tax credit mechanisms for our existing fleet of carbon-free nuclear power plants.
The Biden administration’s proposed $1.85 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy aligns with recommendations from an ANS-led taskforce report on nuclear technology research and development funding needs for the 2020s. The administration’s requested funding levels are on the right course, but more support is needed, especially with funding the demonstration and deployment of advanced and modular reactor designs.
As outlined in 'The U.S. Nuclear R&D Imperative,' an ANS-led taskforce recommended additional federal nuclear R&D support of $10.3 billion over nine years. This is the level of additional federal support necessary to meet nuclear energy R&D needs, U.S. carbon goals, and a commercial scale-up of U.S. designed advanced reactors in the 2030s.
The taskforce’s $10.3 billion in additional nuclear R&D pales in comparison to the cost required for mitigating climate change. For instance, the taskforce’s requested additional nuclear R&D support is approximately 0.6 percent of the administration’s $1.7-trillion climate plan over ten years.
Nuclear energy is the only commercially proven, zero-carbon energy technology capable of supplying firm, 'dispatchable' carbon-free electricity required for a rapid decarbonization of America’s power grid and economy. A significant increase in nuclear R&D investments is required if America wants to achieve clean air goals as rapidly and efficiently as possible.
We also encourage Congress to look at additional investment in nuclear science and technology as part of any infrastructure package. Our nuclear power plants and national laboratories are an essential and irreplaceable backbone of our country’s critical infrastructure. In an era of climate change and global competition, we cannot afford to allow our largest clean energy technology to atrophy."
Established in 1954, ANS is an international professional organization of engineers and scientists devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its more than 10,000 members represent government, academia, research laboratories, medical facilities, and private industry. ANS’s mission is to advance, foster, and spur the development and application of nuclear science, engineering, and technology to benefit society.