NEI's Korsnick delivers State of the Nuclear Energy Industry address

May 15, 2024, 11:40AMNuclear News


Nuclear Energy Institute president and CEO Maria Korsnick delivered her State of the Nuclear Energy Industry address at NEI’s 2024 Nuclear Energy Policy Forum yesterday. The forum this year is taking place May 14–16 in Washington, D.C., and serves to gather industry leaders, executives, and experts for pivotal conversations about the federal and state nuclear policy landscapes.

Korsnick updated attendees on policy priorities of the industry and gave her perspective on nuclear energy’s present and future.

She centered her talk on national and global priorities to secure a clean energy future at the same time as achieving energy independence and security—all while meeting a massive increase in demand for power. “Nuclear energy remains the key” to addressing these priorities, she said.

Bipartisan Fusion Energy Act pushes for regulatory clarity

May 2, 2024, 12:01PMNuclear News


Sen. Alex Padilla (D., Calif.) introduced the Fusion Energy Act (S. 4151) last month with a bipartisan group of cosponsors—John Cornyn (R., Texas), Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Todd Young (R., Ind.), and Patty Murray (D., Wash.). The legislation would codify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulatory authority over commercial fusion energy systems to streamline the creation of clear federal regulations that will support the development of commercial fusion power plants—and would require a report within one year on a study of risk- and performance-based, design-specific licensing frameworks for “mass-manufactured fusion machines.”

“Congress must do everything in its power to ensure continued U.S. leadership in developing commercial fusion energy facilities,” said Padilla as he introduced the bill. “The Fusion Energy Act would provide regulatory certainty for investors as the NRC develops and streamlines frameworks for such facilities.”

House E&C subcommittee to hold hearing on spent fuel management

April 8, 2024, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a public hearing on improving the U.S. management of spent nuclear fuel. The hearing, titled “American Nuclear Energy Expansion: Spent Fuel Policy and Innovation,” will be held on April 10 by the E&C Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee.

The hearing will be livestreamed on the E&C Committee website.

Congress votes on Price-Anderson Act extension

March 22, 2024, 1:39PMNuclear News

A minibus appropriations bill—the second produced this month by Congress—emerged from conference negotiations yesterday with language that would extend the Price-Anderson Act—legislation first enacted in 1954 that makes it possible for nuclear power producers to seek insurance from the private marketplace. Today the House of Representatives voted 286–134 to approve the minibus package of six fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills, and the Senate is expected to vote today, too. By extending the Price-Anderson Act—now set to expire in 2025—Congress can support the current U.S. power reactor fleet and pave the way for new reactor deployments.

How is Cold War–era radiation shaping the nuclear conversation today?

March 18, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Manhattan Project may have begun more than 80 years ago, but it’s still in the news—and not just because of Oppenheimer’s recent haul at the Academy Awards. On March 7, the Senate passed S. 3853, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Reauthorization Act, by a vote of 69 to 30, sending the bill to the House. It’s Sen. Josh Hawley's (R., Mo.) second attempt to reauthorize the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)—which was first enacted in 1990 to address the legacy of U.S. nuclear weapons production—before it expires in June. The bill would extend the deadline to claim compensation by five years and expand it from the dozen states now covered to include individuals exposed to radiation in certain regions of Missouri, Alaska, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Levin and Carbajal reintroduce 100-year SNF canister bill

February 9, 2024, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions



Reps. Mike Levin (D., Calif.) and Salud Carbajal (D., Calif.) have reintroduced the 100 Year Canister Life Act, which requires nuclear waste canisters to have a design life of at least 100 years. Levin last introduced the bill in 2022, where it died in committee.

Introduced into the House on January 31, the bill (H.R. 7172) would prohibit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from issuing or renewing any certificate of compliance or license for a dry storage cask for spent nuclear fuel without a finding that the cask “can safely operate with spent nuclear fuel for a period of at least 100 years.” Current NRC regulations set the lifespan requirement of dry storage casks at 40 years.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

Kerry shares U.S. plan for international fusion energy engagement on COP28 stage

December 7, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

John Kerry speaks on U.S. fusion energy policy. (Photo: Craig Piercy)

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has a new plan for international partnerships in fusion energy development that would build on over 60 years of collaborative fusion research and development to address the climate crisis and ensure energy security. The plan, first released December 2, was announced December 5 at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, by John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate. He delivered “a call to action” during an Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum. The plan follows on the administration’s Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy of March 2022, which recognized fusion energy’s increasing technical readiness and strong market interest—$6 billion to date.

“I'm pleased to announce the U.S. international engagement plan for fusion energy,” Kerry said. “This strategy identifies five areas of work that will help us to realize the promise of this technology, and they are R&D, supply chain and marketplace, regulation, workforce, and education and engagement.”

ANS leads effort in asking Congress to update SNF disposal regs

November 3, 2023, 7:56AMANS News
Workers walk down an underground passageway at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant transuranic waste repository in New Mexico. (Photo: DOE)

The American Nuclear Society coordinated an effort with eight nongovernmental organizations in asking Congress to update the Environmental Protection Agency’s generic standards for the safe, permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste.

Hill staffers get a nonproliferation education

September 25, 2023, 7:01AMANS News
Congressional staffers gathered for a talk on nuclear weapons and nonproliferation as part of the ANS Nuclear Energy 101 program.

Class was back in session this spring when, after a hiatus, the American Nuclear Society hosted its third session of Nuclear Energy 101 in Washington, D.C., for congressional staffers. This five-course educational series is a wonderful—and popular—tool for ANS to network with congressional staff and explain the basics of nuclear science and technology.

ANS's Piercy interviews NRC chair Christopher Hanson

September 22, 2023, 7:37AMANS News

American Nuclear Society Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy visited One White Flint North, where he sat down with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Christopher Hanson for a one-on-one interview on September 18, 2023. The interview is available exclusively to ANS members to watch this week before it is released to the public. ANS members won’t want to miss the hour-long discussion, where Hanson opens up about important topics facing the NRC and the nuclear community and what he sees as the big successes during his first term as chair.

Concerning consent-based siting: An Interview with the DOE’s Kim Petry, Erica Bickford, and Natalia Saraeva

March 3, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions

On December 1, 2021, the Department of Energy issued a request for information (RFI) asking for public feedback on using consent-based siting to identify sites for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel. The department received more than 220 comments in response, and on September 15, 2022, the DOE released a report summarizing and analyzing those responses. That 57-page report, Consent-Based Siting: Request for Information Comment Summary and Analysis, will be followed by an updated consent-based siting process document.

The DOE’s consent-based siting initiative is being led through the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. To learn more about that initiative and the consent-based siting process, Radwaste Solutions spoke with the DOE’s Kim Petry, acting associate deputy assistant secretary, Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition; Erica Bickford, acting office director, Integrated Waste Management; and Natalia Saraeva, team lead, Consent-Based Siting.

Sen. Hawley introduces bill requiring cleanup of St. Louis area school

March 1, 2023, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions
Contractors scan floors inside Jana Elementary School in Missouri during testing done in October 2022. (Photo: USACE/JP Rebello)

New legislation that would require the cleanup of Jana Elementary School in suburban St. Louis was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.). The Justice for Jana Elementary Act would also order the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to test all properties in the Hazelwood School District, of which Jana Elementary is a part.

Nevada lawmakers reintroduce bill meant to end Yucca Mountain

February 21, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

Cortez Masto


The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week by Rep. Dina Titus (D., Nev.). Previous iterations of the bill, designed to prevent the federal government from reviving the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project, have all died in congressional committees.

The bicameral legislation, led by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.), would require the secretary of energy to obtain the consent of affected state, local, and tribal governments before making an expenditure from the Nuclear Waste Fund for a nuclear waste repository. The bill is being cosponsored by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.) and Reps. Steven Horsford (D., Nev.) and Susie Lee (D., Nev.).

New members appointed to nuclear waste board

December 22, 2022, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

President Biden has appointed six new members to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, an independent executive federal agency created by Congress to evaluate the technical and scientific validity of Department of Energy activities related to implementing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.

American Nuclear Society publishes special issue of Nuclear Science and Engineering on Versatile Test Reactor

October 14, 2022, 2:37PMPress Releases
A rendering of the Versatile Test Reactor site. Image: INL

LA GRANGE PARK, Illinois – Idaho National Laboratory’s crucial Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) project is the focus of a newly released special issue of Nuclear Science and Engineering, the first and oldest peer-reviewed journal in its field. This special issue of the American Nuclear Society’s flagship journal presents a current snapshot of the nuclear innovation project at INL, which is being developed in partnership among six national labs and a host of industry and university partners.

GOP lawmakers push to lower regulatory hurdles for small nuclear firms

October 5, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News


Rep. Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) has introduced legislation in the House to help U.S. small businesses engaged or seeking to engage in the research, development, and deployment of advanced nuclear reactors.

Dubbed the Nuclear Assistance for America’s Small Businesses Act, the bill debuted September 29 with 10 of Donalds’s fellow House Republicans as cosponsors: Arizona’s Andy Biggs, Florida’s Maria Elvira Salazar, Georgia’s Buddy Carter, North Carolina’s Dan Bishop and Ted Budd, Ohio’s Bob Latta, South Carolina’s Nancy Mace, Tennessee’s Chuck Fleischmann and John Rose, and Texas’s Chip Roy.

Bill basics: The measure would amend the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) to allow small businesses to delay 50 percent of their preapplication fees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as 35 percent of their postapplication fees over a period of 10 years.

White House would send the DOE $1.5 billion to set up reliable LEU/HALEU supply

September 8, 2022, 3:06PMNuclear News
HALEU in the form of 1.5–3 kg reguli ready for fuel fabrication. (Photo: INL)

Those who welcomed the $700 million earmarked for high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) supply in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) in August have cause to celebrate again. The White House sent a supplemental appropriation request to Congress on September 2 that would provide more than double the IRA funds if passed—$1.5 billion—for the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy to build a reliable supply of both low-enriched uranium for existing U.S. nuclear power plants and HALEU for the advanced reactors that will be built within the decade.

ANS welcomes WISE interns back to Washington, D.C.

September 1, 2022, 9:30AMANS News
Tiara Carrasquillo Pérez (far left) and Matt Hageman (far right) are pictured with five other WISE interns and FMR Gil Brown (center front).

For the first time since 2019, student interns were welcomed to Washington, D.C., for the summer to participate in the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program. Among them were two students sponsored by ANS—Tiara Carrasquillo Pérez and Matt Hageman.

NWTRB releases updated report on national HLW programs

July 26, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board has issued a report to the U.S. Congress and the secretary of energy examining the programs for managing spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in more than a dozen countries.

The report, Survey of National Programs for Managing High-Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel: 2022 Update, is an update of a survey report issued by the NWTRB in 2009, in which the board described 30 institutional and technical attributes of nuclear waste management programs in 13 countries. Those countries, which include the United States, France, China, and the United Kingdom, account for 80 percent of worldwide nuclear power–generating capacity.

ANS virtual event: Experts share their expectations for low-dose radiation research

July 20, 2022, 3:00PMANS News

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics released a report in June recommending that the United States invest a total of $1.5 billion in low-dose radiation research over the next 15 years. Congress is working through the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations process at this writing, and many in the nuclear community are hopeful that research programs that have been starved of funding and leadership will be reinvigorated and bring long-overdue clarity to questions of low-dose radiation science, policy, and regulation.