Bill to preserve, expand U.S. nuclear energy sector reintroduced

July 19, 2021, 7:02AMNuclear News


A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA), initially introduced last fall in the previous Congress. Sponsors include Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.), the ranking member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee; John Barrasso (R., Wyo.); Cory Booker (D., N.J.); Mike Crapo (R., Idaho); and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.).

Last month, the American Nuclear Society joined 23 other nuclear-focused entities in signing a letter to those lawmakers urging reintroduction of the bill.

Specifics: The legislation aims to revitalize the U.S. nuclear sector. According to its supporters, ANIA would accomplish the following:

  • Empower the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to lead a consensus-building process in international forums to establish regulations for advanced nuclear reactor designs.
  • Provide the NRC authority to deny imports of Russian nuclear fuel on national security grounds.
  • Create a prize to incentivize the successful licensing process of next-generation nuclear technologies and fuels.
  • Require the NRC to identify and resolve regulatory barriers to enable advanced nuclear technologies to reduce industrial emissions.
  • Authorize a targeted credit program to preserve nuclear plants at risk of prematurely shutting down.
  • Modernize outdated rules that restrict investment in nuclear energy.
  • Identify modern manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.\

A word from the sponsor: “It’s important that we continue to position the United States as a global energy leader, and that requires us to take full advantage of all sources of America’s energy potential,” Capito said in a July 16 statement. “Along with our nation’s coal and natural gas resources, nuclear power can provide critical clean and reliable electricity needed to power our homes and businesses. I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this important legislation that will help preserve and expand our use of nuclear energy, which will create jobs and strengthen our energy and national security.”

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