Public Policy News

May 20, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is issuing a final rule and corresponding update to the generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) the agency uses when considering applications to renew the operating licenses of nuclear power reactors. All four current NRC commissioners voted to approve the rule on May 16.

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May 14, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

A bill being considered in the U.S. Senate seeks to remove the requirement for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a public hearing for every nuclear reactor application.

Current law requires public hearings to be held by the NRC toward the end the reactor license application process, in addition to the statutorily required environmental and safety reviews that provide public engagement opportunities for stakeholders and citizens.

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May 2, 2024, 12:01PMNuclear News

Padilla

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.”

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May 1, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News

The U.S. Senate approved April 30—by unanimous consent—a bill banning the importation of Russian uranium. The House of Representatives passed the bill, House Resolution 1042, last fall, and now President Biden is expected to sign it into law.

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April 30, 2024, 3:24PMNuclear News

A review from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week denied a challenge to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant’s license renewal application extension granted by the federal government.

In late 2023, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to formally docket the California plant’s request to extend plant operations beyond the current license expiration dates of 2024 and 2025 for the two respective units.

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