As more than 1,500 meeting attendees were partaking in technical sessions during the 2021 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting, the American Nuclear Society launched a new policy engagement initiative aimed at drawing support for a segment of the Biden administration’s FY 2022 budget request. The initiative, kicked off today by an email to ANS members, urged the members to send letters to their congressional representatives asking for support of advanced nuclear research and development funding.
Craig Piercy, ANS’s executive director and chief executive officer, noted, “Robust public R&D investment is critical to fielding the next generation of nuclear technologies. ANS and the nuclear S&T community must raise its voice to ensure that Congress provides the funding needed to bring them to fruition.”
The budget proposal: The FY 2022 budget request includes $1.85 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy—a 23 percent increase over the FY 2021 appropriation of $1.51 billion. “President Biden’s budget request puts America in the driver's seat as we transition toward a 100 percent clean energy economy,” said energy secretary Jennifer Granholm on May 28. “These investments will ensure the U.S. is the global leader in research, development, and deployment of critical energy technologies to combat the climate crisis, create good-paying union jobs, and strengthen our communities in all pockets of America.”
Shortly after the proposal was released, Piercy commented, “As the premier 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.”
How to take action: There are ways to participate in the campaign and make one’s voice heard on Capitol Hill. Supporters can go directly to the ANS website, search for the proper elected officials, and send letters urging action on the budget proposal. There also are options for users to spread the word on social media to help spur the nuclear community to get involved.
This campaign can only be successful with the support of ANS members and the wider community. Tell Congress to support advanced nuclear R&D now.