Nuclear energy package debuted in House

March 1, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News


Rep. Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) recently introduced in the House a four-bill nuclear energy package that, according to the congressman’s office, seeks to “reshape the way our country uses and views nuclear energy.”

Included in the package are the following measures—all originally introduced in the 117th Congress:

  • H.R. 1009—National Strategy to Utilize Microreactors for Natural Disaster Response Efforts Act. This legislation calls on the president to collaborate with several federal entities that currently enjoy minimal interaction to develop a national strategy for the use of microreactors to assist with natural disaster impacts. Cosponsors include Reps. Earl “Buddy” Carter (R., Ga.), Randy Feenstra (R., Iowa), Chuck Fleischmann (R., Tenn.), Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), Nancy Mace (R., S.C.), Jay Obernolte (R., Calif.), and John Rose (R., Tenn.).
  • H.R. Res. 124—Nuclear Resolution. This resolution expresses the “sense of the House” that the United States should support the expansion of domestic nuclear energy and advanced nuclear technology as a viable source of power in order to promote U.S. leadership in the sector and global energy independence. Cosponsors include Carter, Feenstra, Fleischmann, Mace, and Obernolte, along with Reps. Kat Cammack (R., Fla.), Ben Cline (R., Va.), Barry Moore (R., Ala.), Troy Nehls (R., Texas), Burgess Owens (R., Utah), Jeff Van Drew (R., N.J.), Randy Weber (R., Texas), and Brandon Williams (R., N.Y.).
  • H.R. 1007—Nuclear Assistance for America’s Small Businesses Act. This bill amends the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act to assist small businesses looking to enter the advanced nuclear industry by deferring (not canceling) a portion of the regulatory fees resulting from engagement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Cosponsors include Carter, Fleischmann, Mace, Nehls, Weber, and Williams, as well as Reps. Dan Bishop (R., N.C.) and María Salazar (R., Fla.).
  • H.R. 1006—NRC Survey Act. This bill requires the NRC to distribute to its employees an optional, anonymous survey covering various aspects of the nuclear industry to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the agency. Cosponsors include Carter, Fleischmann, Mace, and Nehls.

Words from the sponsor: “In 2023, nuclear energy is still an underutilized asset in the arsenal of American domestic energy production,” said Donalds in a February 16 news release. “By expressing the unique benefits of nuclear energy, we can shift the ‘negative’ stigma associated with the use of this safe and clean source of energy. Also, by creating a national strategy to use microreactors in the aftermath of natural disasters and by deferring NRC regulatory fees for small businesses, we can mitigate future energy challenges. Finally, for the NRC to reach its full potential, personnel must know that they can provide constructive criticism of agency operations through an anonymous survey—without fear of retaliation."

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