House To Vote On Nuclear Energy Package This Week

This week, the House of Representatives is poised to vote on the bipartisan “Atomic Energy Advancement Act,” a significant step toward modernizing nuclear energy legislation in the United States. 

The bill, formally known as H.R. 6544, was introduced by Representatives Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), leading figures in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy. 

It seeks to streamline regulatory processes and promote the development of small, factory-built nuclear reactors. These advancements are viewed as essential for rejuvenating the aging nuclear industry and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This legislation bolsters American nuclear independence to keep the power on for Americans and safeguards national security through energy security,” Duncan said in December.

The legislation proposes a comprehensive update to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) mission and staffing, aiming to enhance the efficiency of the nuclear licensing framework. It introduces measures to retain and attract skilled professionals through pay incentives and structural reforms, alongside mandating a Government Accountability Office report on the NRC’s progress in implementing these changes.

Furthermore, H.R. 6544 addresses the need for the United States to remain competitive in the burgeoning global market for advanced nuclear reactor technologies. It includes provisions to lower application fees for advanced reactors and establishes an innovation prize, underscoring the bill’s forward-looking approach to nuclear energy development.

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