Senate Passes ADVANCE Act, Allowing Biden to Sanction Rosatom

The US Senate has approved the ADVANCE Act, a comprehensive clean energy bill aimed at bolstering the country’s nuclear energy infrastructure while simultaneously reducing reliance on Russian nuclear technology and materials. This legislation, passed with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 88-2, sets the stage for new sanctions against Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation.

Key Provisions of the Sanctions

The sanctions, which are integral to the ADVANCE Act, target Rosatom and its subsidiaries, marking a decisive move to decouple the U.S. and its allies from the Russian nuclear industry. The bill mandates:

  1. Imposition of Sanctions: The President is directed to impose sanctions on Rosatom, any foreign person engaging in significant transactions with Rosatom, members of Rosatom’s supervisory or management board, individuals involved in activities at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and those providing support to sanctioned entities.
  2. Transition to Alternative Suppliers: A strategic shift from Russian nuclear suppliers to those from the United States and allied nations is emphasized, ensuring a diversified and secure nuclear supply chain.
  3. Enhanced Reactor Safety and Operations: The bill also aims to replace Rosatom as the primary provider of reactor safety and operational services, particularly for reactors originally designed and constructed by the Russian Federation.

The ADVANCE Act, now awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature, aims to revolutionize the U.S. nuclear sector by:

  • Streamlining Regulatory Processes: The act will significantly reduce the regulatory burdens and fees associated with building new reactors at existing power plants, facilitating faster development and deployment of nuclear technology.
  • Accelerating Reactor Builds: Provisions within the bill are designed to expedite the approval processes for new builds and hires, ensuring a rapid expansion of the nuclear workforce and infrastructure.

X user Crémieux, an advocate for nuclear energy reform, expressed optimism, “Once Biden signs this into law, the regulatory burdens on building new reactors at existing powerplants will fall, the outrageous fees the NRC charges would-be nuclear developers will plummet, and builds and hires will have their approvals expedited.”

The bipartisan support for this legislation underscores a unified recognition of the strategic importance of nuclear energy in the nation’s clean energy transition and economic competitiveness.

Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy, stated, “This legislation not only strengthens our national security by reducing our dependency on Russian nuclear materials but also propels us towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. It’s a win for the environment, for the economy, and for our national security.”

In the deciding bipartisan vote, only Senators Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders opposed the bill.

Information for this story was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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