House panel advances raft of pro-nuclear bills

October 31, 2023, 7:19AMNuclear News
Rep. Jeff Duncan (Image:

At a legislative markup session last week, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee approved 17 energy bills for consideration by the full E&C committee, including 12 measures to boost and streamline the deployment of nuclear power. The nuclear-related bills cleared the subcommittee by voice vote with bipartisan support.

“Our shared goal in this committee is to advance bipartisan, durable policy that will expand nuclear energy and its benefits for the nation,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), chair of the E&C’s Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee, in his opening remarks on October 24. “Chair Rodgers, ranking members Pallone and DeGette, and I sent a bipartisan request for information to a variety of stakeholders this past April. Based on feedback from this request and the hearings we’ve had since, it’s clear that more can be done to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy to advance nuclear energy in this country.”

Lawmakers debut resolution supporting nuclear energy

August 3, 2023, 12:11PMNuclear News



A bipartisan coalition of 15 senators led by Sens. Ted Budd (R., N.C.) and Chris Coons (D., Del.) is backing a resolution declaring that “in order to maintain geopolitical energy leadership, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance the energy security of the United States, the Senate is committed to embracing and promoting nuclear power as a clean baseload energy source necessary to achieve a reliable, secure, and diversified electric grid.”

The resolution, S. Res. 321, was introduced July 27 and referred to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Fellow fission fans: Cosponsors of S. Res. 321 include Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Mark Kelly (D., Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Pete Ricketts (R., Neb.), Jim Risch (R., Idaho), Kyrsten Sinema (I., Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R., N.C.), Mark Warner (D., Va.), and Roger Wicker (R., Miss.).

House committee approves bill to ban Russian uranium imports

May 31, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

McMorris Rodgers

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has advanced a bill to the chamber’s floor that, with certain exceptions, would ban the import of low-enriched uranium from Russia into the United States. Introduced in February by the E&C Committee’s chair, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act (H.R. 1042) was approved in a (slightly) bipartisan 29–21 vote on May 24.

The legislation would start banning Russian uranium 90 days after its enactment but would also allow the Department of Energy to issue waivers should the DOE determine (1) that there is no alternate source of low-enriched uranium available to keep a U.S. nuclear reactor in operation or (2) that importing Russian uranium is in the national interest.

Bill to foster civil nuclear export strategy debuts

March 17, 2023, 9:29AMNuclear News
The U.S. Capitol building.

Further building on their already secure reputations as nuclear energy supporters, Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Jim Risch (R., Idaho) yesterday reintroduced the International Nuclear Energy Act (INEA). (The lawmakers are also cosponsors of two recently debuted nuclear-themed bills: February’s Nuclear Fuel Security Act and last week’s Reduce Russian Uranium Imports Act.)

Senators give Russian uranium ban another try

March 15, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News



A bipartisan group in the Senate is making another attempt to ban Russian uranium with the introduction of S. 763, the Reduce Russian Uranium Imports Act, after similar legislation introduced in the previous Congress just under one year ago by Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) failed to advance.

Debuting March 9, the new bill is sponsored by Barrasso and Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Jim Risch (R., Idaho), Martin Heinrich (D., N.M.), Cynthia Lummis (R., Wyo.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), and Roger Marshall (R., Kan.). Specifically, S. 763 calls for prohibiting “the importation into the United States of unirradiated low-enriched uranium that is produced in the Russian Federation or by a Russian entity.”

Lawmakers press DFC to invest in nuclear

December 19, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter last week to Scott Nathan, chief executive officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), urging the agency to begin financing nuclear energy projects and support the continued development and deployment of advanced nuclear technology.

Signing the December 8 letter were Sens. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.), Ben Cardin (D., Md.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), and Jim Risch (R., Idaho).

The IRA: Crediting nuclear energy

September 7, 2022, 3:03PMNuclear News

While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), recently signed into law, has created a good deal of buzz in the nuclear community, the thought of wading through its 730 pages of legislative language can be a bit intimidating. Which is why, on August 26, the American Nuclear Society offered an hour-long, members-only webinar on the legislation and its key provisions for nuclear energy.

Moderated by John Starkey, ANS’s director of public policy, “Inflation Reduction Act: What’s in It for Nuclear” featured Benton Arnett, director of markets and policy for the Nuclear Energy Institute; Josh Siegel, energy and climate change reporter for Politico; Rory Stanley, staff member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Elina Teplinsky, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; and James Wickett, partner at Hogan Lovells. (ANS members can view the full webinar here.)

Congress passes climate bill with tax credits and more for nuclear

August 15, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

After hours of debate alternating between Democratic praise for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Republican denunciation of it, the House of Representatives late Friday passed the sweeping energy, tax, and health care package in a straight party-line vote, 220–207. Its passage represents a significant win for President Biden, who is expected to sign the bill into law this week.

The boldly named $430 billion measure includes $369 billion in energy security and climate spending, with nuclear energy included among the beneficiaries.

House sends chip production and scientific R&D bill to Biden

July 29, 2022, 8:55AMNuclear News
The U.S. Capitol. Photo: Wikimedia commons.

In a 243–187 vote, the House of Representatives yesterday passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a $280 billion economic competitiveness package aimed at bolstering U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, as well as scientific research and development, including nuclear energy R&D.

DOE to fast-track Civil Nuclear Credit bids from the most at-risk reactors

April 21, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
The DOE’s guidance for Civil Nuclear Credit Program applicants opens a window for an owner—present or future—to submit a bid for credits that could keep Palisades, in southwest Michigan, operating past its planned May closure date. (Photo: Entergy)

The Department of Energy has announced the steps that would-be applicants must take to access funds from the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program. Guidance published April 19 invites owners or operators of those plants most at risk of near-term closure to apply during the program’s first award cycle. With shutdown planned next month, Entergy’s Palisades plant would top that list (read on for more on Michigan’s efforts to keep the plant operating), but any reactor with publicly announced plans to close by September 30, 2026, that meets other program criteria could be certified for credits. Successful applicants won’t have to wait long for good news: the DOE plans to announce award decisions as soon as 30 days after the May 19 deadline for submitting certification applications together with sealed bids for credits.

Legislation introduced to reestablish U.S. as global nuclear energy leader

April 13, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News



Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Jim Risch (R., Idaho) recently introduced the International Nuclear Energy Act of 2022, a measure aimed at developing a strategy to counter the growing influence of Russia and China on the global civil nuclear export market.

Manchin is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Risch is the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Bill basics: The legislation, according to the lawmakers, would:

  • Establish an office to coordinate civil nuclear exports strategy, establish financing relationships, promote regulatory harmonization, enhance safeguards and security, promote standardization of licensing framework, and create an export working group.

FY 2023 budget request released; DOE funding hiked 7 percent

March 29, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The White House yesterday released its $5.8 trillion fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, just two weeks after President Biden signed into law H.R. 2471, the FY 2022 omnibus bill that funds the federal government through September 30.

Manchin supports nuclear provisions in Biden’s Build Back Better plan

January 14, 2022, 3:25PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) has been in the news over the past week—and that’s good news for the nuclear community. Last week, The Hill reported on Manchin’s support for climate action, and according to Bloomberg News this week, Manchin is “big on nuclear” and supports the tax credits for nuclear power plants included in the administration’s Build Back Better plan.

New bill aims to bring advanced reactors to economically depressed communities

December 20, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

Bipartisan support for nuclear energy continued on Capitol Hill last week as Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the committee’s ranking member, introduced the Fission for the Future Act of 2021, a measure backing the commercial deployment of advanced nuclear reactors.

Introduced on December 16, the legislation would prioritize communities affected by the closure of coal and other fossil-fueled generating facilities and assist in the reutilization of those sites to deploy advanced nuclear power plants, promoting job growth in economically depressed regions.

Senate confirms Phillips for FERC

November 19, 2021, 6:53AMNuclear News

The Senate on Tuesday evening unanimously confirmed Willie Phillips, chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, bringing that body to its full, five-member complement. He was nominated by President Biden in September to fill FERC’s vacant seat and will serve a term that expires on June 30, 2026.

Congress urged to include advanced nuclear in clean-energy tax credits

October 13, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research center, last week sent a letter to congressional leaders arguing that advanced nuclear energy needs to be included in legislation proposing an expansion of federal tax credits for clean energy.

ANS urges Congress to address availability of HALEU for advanced reactor fuel

September 16, 2021, 9:30AMANS News
Click image to enlarge

Congress needs to take swift action to build a domestic supply of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) to fuel advanced reactors, the American Nuclear Society declares in a September 14 letter to Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the committee’s ranking member.

Legislation introduced to extend production tax credits to nuclear

June 28, 2021, 12:01PMNuclear News



Companion bills that call for amending the Internal Revenue Code to establish a tax credit to help existing merchant nuclear plants continue operations debuted on Capitol Hill last week.

In the House on June 21, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D., N.J.) introduced the bipartisan H.R. 4024, dubbed the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act of 2021. Cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Tom Suozzi (D., N.Y.), John Katko (R., N.Y.), Danny Davis (D., Ill.), Anthony Brown (D., Md.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D., Md.), Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.), Mike Doyle (D., Pa.), and Bobby Rush (D., Ill.).

And on June 24, Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) introduced the Senate’s version, S. 2291, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Tom Carper (D., Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) joining as cosponsors.

Biden, senators agree to infrastructure deal

June 25, 2021, 9:33AMNuclear News



President Biden struck an infrastructure deal yesterday with a bipartisan group of senators to provide new investments for electric utilities, transportation, broadband, and other projects.

The deal coincided with a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (SENR) hearing yesterday, which examined the infrastructure needs of the U.S. energy sector and considered the legislative proposal released last week by SENR chairman Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) . The proposal, labeled a "discussion draft," is currently in play for ongoing bipartisan infrastructure negotiations and includes provisions that would comply with rules on budget reconciliation, including a section that fully funds the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program and other Energy Act of 2020 programs. Manchin's proposal would also look to create a Department of Energy grant program for at-risk nuclear plants on an as-needed basis.

Grid cybersecurity bill reintroduced in Senate

May 4, 2021, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe


Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) last week reintroduced legislation from 2019 to enhance the security of the U.S. electric grid. According to Murkowski, the Protecting Resources on the Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT) Act would enhance electric grid security by incentivizing electric utilities to make cybersecurity investments.

Introduced in the Senate on April 28 as S. 1400, the bill would also establish a Department of Energy grant and technical assistance program to deploy advanced cybersecurity technology for utilities that are not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Cosponsors of the PROTECT Act include Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Jim Risch (R., Idaho), Angus King (I., Maine), and Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.).