Reps. Dan Newhouse (R., Wash.) and Elaine Luria (D., Va.) late last month introduced legislation to establish a long-term nuclear power purchase agreement program that would direct the secretary of energy to enter into one or more agreements to purchase nuclear power from reactors licensed after January 2020. Dubbed the Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act, the bill would also require the secretary to enter into one national security–related nuclear power purchase agreement prior to 2026 to provide reliable and resilient power in “remote off-grid” and emergency scenarios.
A word from the sponsors: “Nuclear technologies are a vital part of our nation’s energy portfolio, and we must continue to create a strong pathway forward for nuclear research and technologies,” said Newhouse. “This legislation would bring the federal government and industry together and encourage continued innovation to bolster our national security, provide reliable and resilient power in remote off-grid and emergency scenarios, and create jobs in communities like ours in central Washington.”
Luria commented, “Having operated nuclear reactors on aircraft carriers, I know nuclear energy has immense potential as a clean and safe energy source. Almost one-third of the commonwealth’s energy is derived from nuclear power, and my goal is to continue to make Virginia a national leader in driving American energy independence. The Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act will direct the federal government to purchase power from advanced nuclear reactors. This will incentivize innovation in the nuclear sector and spark more widespread adoption of nuclear power. As we strive to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions, nuclear energy must be part of the solution.”