Fuel supply and reactor licensing bills debut in House

July 30, 2020, 9:29AMNuclear News

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 29 continued their push for nuclear with the introduction of the Nuclear Prosperity and Security Act (H.R. 7814) and the Modernize Nuclear Reactor Environmental Reviews Act (H.R. 7817). Last month, GOP members of the committee introduced the Strengthening American Nuclear Competitiveness Act and the Nuclear Licensing Efficiency Act.

H.R. 7814, introduced by Rep. Bob Latta (R., Ohio), the ranking member of the committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and cosponsored by Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), directs the secretary of energy to establish and operate a uranium reserve in the United States to ensure the availability of uranium in the event of a market disruption and to support strategic fuel cycle capabilities. H.R. 7817, introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), calls for streamlining the nuclear reactor licensing process to accelerate the deployment of nuclear reactors, especially advanced reactors.

Latta

Latta: Latta commented that the United States in recent years has not kept pace with its allies and rivals in investing in nuclear power and, as a result, the nation’s competitive edge has diminished. “This is deeply concerning, as it jeopardizes our national and economic security, as well as our global leadership,” he said. “Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need to secure our electric grid and stop supply chain threats. It is imperative that we reinvest in our domestic nuclear industry and strengthen our supply chains, and that includes making sure the Department of Energy has the resources they need to support strategic fuel cycle capabilities."

Latta added that establishing a domestic uranium reserve will result in lower carbon emissions, new jobs and economic growth, and a more secure world.

Duncan

Duncan: Duncan noted that H.R. 7817 directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to evaluate the current environmental review process for nuclear reactors, determine more efficient and timely ways to perform the reviews while also complying with the recently modernized National Environmental Policy Act, and conduct a formal rulemaking on its findings.

“We must continue to look for ways to enhance our domestic nuclear energy production and maintain global competitiveness,” he said. “I’m confident that my bill will contribute to this effort.”


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