WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), today advanced four bills to the full committee that address key challenges facing America’s nuclear energy industry.
#SubEnergy advanced the following bills:
H.R. ____, the Advancing U.S. Civil Nuclear Competitiveness and Jobs Act, from Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), would increase competitiveness of U.S. nuclear energy companies by requiring the Secretary of Energy to assess the impact of regulatory, policy, and legal requirements on the domestic nuclear energy industry and make recommendations to improve the competitiveness of our civilian nuclear commerce policies in global markets. Additionally, the legislation would streamline cumbersome portions of Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Part 810” export review procedures and improve the timeliness of the approval process. This legislation passed by a bipartisan vote of 20-13.
H.R. 1320, the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy (NUKE) Act, sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), would revise the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) fee recovery structure and increase the predictability, transparency, and efficiency of the NRC’s regulatory processes. H.R. 1320 passed by voice vote.
H.R. 6140, the Advanced Nuclear Fuel Availability Act, from Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), would direct DOE to establish a program to support the availability of “high-assay low enriched uranium” to help enable advanced nuclear energy technology development. The legislation provides for a public-private partnership to address regulatory and market challenges associated with advanced nuclear fuel for nuclear engineers and scientists to develop and deploy innovative nuclear energy technologies. H.R. 6140 unanimously passed by voice vote.
H.R. 6141, to require the Secretary of Energy to develop a report on a pilot program to site, construct, and operate micro-reactors at critical national security locations, and for other purposes, from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), would require the Secretary of Energy to submit a report to identify the key components of a pilot program to site, construct, and operate very small nuclear reactors, or “micro reactors,” at critical Department of Defense or Department of Energy national security facilities. H.R. 6141 unanimously passed by voice vote.
#SubEnergy Chairman Upton said, “Throughout this Congress, we have repeatedly heard about the immense challenges facing all parts of our nation’s nuclear industry. While individual states have taken steps to preserve specific nuclear power plants, the underlying intellectual and industrial nuclear infrastructure is at risk of further atrophy in the absence of a coherent and defined policy from the Federal government. The bills today take important steps to establish that policy.”
“Each of these bills can help reinvigorate different components of our nuclear ecosystem,” said Full Committee Chairman Walden. “In doing so, the legislation will facilitate innovation and competition, which provides the dual benefit of both being good for consumers, while protecting our national security interests.”
A background memo, electronic copies of the legislation, and live stream of the markup can be found online HERE. Amendment text and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.