A new report from the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, U.S. Nuclear Innovation in a Global Economy: Updating an Outdated National Security Framework, argues for the repeal of the Atomic Energy Act’s restriction on foreign ownership, control, or domination of nuclear reactors—the so-called FOCD provision.
Under this early Cold War–era provision, the report explains, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is unable to issue reactor licenses or transfer existing licenses to applicants that are subject to FOCD, regardless of their country of origin.
According to the NIA, “Without congressional action, the FOCD provision will inhibit investment in U.S. advanced reactor innovation, which needs significant financial participation to move from the drawing board to the field. As applied by the NRC, this outdated provision of the AEA creates significant investment uncertainty.”
The 17-page report, authored by Amy Roma, Sachin Desai, and Alex Gilbert, can be downloaded here.