Policy


NRC seeks comments on new fee schedule for FY 2024

February 22, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is asking for feedback on proposed changes to the annual, licensing, inspection, and special projects fees for fiscal year 2024.

The proposed fee rule, published February 20 in the Federal Register, is based on the FY 2024 Congressional Budget Justification as a full-year appropriation, but it has not yet been enacted. The final rule will be based on the NRC’s actual appropriation, and the agency will update the final fee schedule as appropriate.

A ‘fresh look’ at the mandatory hearing

February 22, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News

Earlier this month, Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Christopher T. Hanson sent a letter to the agency’s general counsel, Brooke P. Clark, saying “a fresh look at the mandatory hearing process is warranted.” Hanson directed the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) “to identify efficiencies in these mandatory hearings that will enable the commission to fulfill its statutory obligations while it promotes the responsible stewardship of time and resources,” and gave the office 60 days to provide a paper outlining applicable requirements and options.

New report details impact of nuclear energy in southeastern U.S.

February 20, 2024, 3:46PMNuclear News

A seminal new report by the Southeast Nuclear Advisory Council and E4 Carolinas has identified the significant economic impact of the nuclear industry within the southeastern United States. The report, The Economic Impact of the Nuclear Industry in the Southeast United States, provides a baseline for future research into the crucial role nuclear power plants play in shaping regional economies and facilitating the shift to clean energy.

Bulgaria, U.S. partner on nuclear program

February 16, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News
Assistant energy secretary for international affairs Andrew Light (seated, left) and Bulgarian energy minister Rumen Radev (seated, right) sign the new agreement in Bulgaria. (Photo: U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria)

Officials from the United States and Bulgaria inked a deal this week to cooperate as Bulgaria further develops its civil nuclear power program.

A working group will explore plans to design, construct, and commission two new units at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant. The two countries will also “explore collaboration on research and training programs and developing Bulgaria's nuclear supply chain resilience,” according to reports.

U.S. must become “world leader in nuclear power” again

February 15, 2024, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Donalds

Fleischmann

Two U.S. representatives—Chuck Fleischmann (R., Tenn.) and Byron Donalds (R., Fla.)—have published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner that calls for the United States to seize “the current nuclear economic opportunity worldwide” and “once again be the world leader in nuclear power.” The congressmen emphasize that “it is in the best interest of the United States and the rest of the world for our country, instead of China and Russia, to be the preferred partner for embarking nuclear nations.”

Atoms for Peace: Fleischmann and Donalds argue that President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech in 1953 established the foundational principles for the domestic and global success of the U.S. civil nuclear energy industry—and they urge the nation to reclaim those principles now. They point to the numerous benefits of nuclear energy, ranging from economic development to desalination to sustainable fuel creation, and note that the “global market is ripe for nuclear technology.”

Still time to submit for NSTOR collections on policy issues

February 14, 2024, 7:00AMANS News

ANS’s fully open research platform Nuclear Science and Technology Open Research (NSTOR) has two collections forming that aim to capture opinions and data on cross-cutting policy topics.

Act now: Comments sought on hydrogen tax credit

February 12, 2024, 4:37PMNuclear News
The U.S. Treasury Department building in Washington, D.C.

Two weeks remain for public comments on the proposed language in the new federal rules proposed for hydrogen production tax credits. A public hearing on the regulations is scheduled for March 25, 2024.

While the federal proposal is largely popular among environmentalists and some pronuclear advocates, there are concerns from others that it would cut out opportunities for existing legacy nuclear plants that are well-equipped to convert part of their operations to hydrogen production. The proposed rules require hydrogen to come from newly built resources—the largest obstacle for legacy nuclear sites but further incentive to deploy new reactors—and would permit using natural gas if employed with carbon capture and sequestration.

ANS members encouraged to apply for 2025 Congressional fellowship

February 12, 2024, 7:21AMANS News

On February 5, the application process has officially opened for the Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship. The American Nuclear Society invites its members to apply for the fellowship, which helps the Society fulfill its strategic goal of enhancing nuclear public policy. Fellows work on energy legislation in the halls of Congress as a representative of ANS, either in a congressional member’s personal office or with a committee.

Levin and Carbajal reintroduce 100-year SNF canister bill

February 9, 2024, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions

Carbajal

Levin

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.

Changes underway for France’s draft energy bill

January 24, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News

A proposed energy bill that the French government is scheduled to consider in early February is generating a great deal of controversy. If approved by the cabinet, the bill will go next to lawmakers in parliament for their consideration. However, the wording of the draft bill has been going through changes due to a controversy over nuclear energy versus renewables.

Early draft: A draft of the bill released on January 8 seemed to prioritize nuclear energy over renewable energy sources, including solar and wind. According to a January 9 report by France 24, the bill asserted “the sustainable choice of using nuclear energy as a competitive and carbon-free” source of electricity, and it set specific goals for nuclear energy, such as the construction of between six and 14 new nuclear reactors as a crucial step toward meeting climate change goals.

Hydrogen production tax credits may exclude legacy nuclear

January 8, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

New guidelines for federal hydrogen production tax credits may leave legacy nuclear plants out in the cold.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have released proposed language about who would qualify for the 45V Clean Hydrogen Production Tax Credit created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The public comment period on the proposal is open until February 26.

Lawmakers urge federal funding for Palisades restart

December 23, 2023, 3:30PMNuclear News
Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Holtec)

A bipartisan group of nine House members is calling on the Department of Energy to give “fair, full, and swift consideration” to Holtec International’s application for DOE Loan Programs Office funding to restart the company’s Palisades nuclear plant, closed last year by the facility’s previous owner, Entergy.

Nuclear energy has watershed moment at COP28

December 22, 2023, 7:02AMANS Nuclear CafeSeth Grae

What happened at COP28, the annual United Nations climate event held this year in Dubai, was the greatest outpouring of global support for nuclear power the world has seen since the thunderous reception to Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace call exactly 70 years ago. For the first time, nuclear energy was specifically mentioned in the closing statement of a COP event as one possible way to combat climate change.

Illinois lifts ban on some new nuclear construction

December 11, 2023, 12:13PMNuclear News

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker returned to the good graces of the nuclear community last Friday, signing H.B. 2473, a bill that partially lifts the state’s decades-long moratorium on new nuclear power builds by permitting the construction of small modular reactors.

Pritzker had vetoed similar legislation, S.B. 76, in August, saying in a veto message that the bill included an overly broad definition of “advanced reactors,” which would “open the door to the proliferation of large-scale nuclear reactors that are so costly to build that they will cause exorbitant ratepayer-funded bailouts.” Pritzker had also asserted that S.B. 76 lacked “regulatory protections or updates to address the health and safety of Illinois residents who would live and work around these new reactors.”

Declaration to triple nuclear energy launched at COP28

December 5, 2023, 7:21AMNuclear News

As expected, a large number of nations at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai have issued a declaration to triple the world’s nuclear power capacity by 2050. John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, joined leaders and ministers from four continents on Saturday to announce the Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy.

COP28: American Nuclear Society applauds historic nuclear pledge by the U.S. and 21 countries

December 2, 2023, 11:56AMPress Releases

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Statement from American Nuclear Society (ANS) Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy on the launching of the “Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy” by the United States and twenty-one other countries during the World Climate Action Summit of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

U.S., Philippines ink civil nuclear pact

November 20, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Lotilla (seated, at left) and Blinken (seated, at right) sign the 123 Agreement in San Francisco. Looking on (left to right) are Ann Ganzer, principal deputy assistant secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. State Department; Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Philippine president; and Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. State Department. (Photo: @SecBlinken/X)

The United States and the Philippines last week signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement—known in policy wonk jargon as a 123 Agreement.