GAO Report Requested by Chair Rodgers, Senator Capito Recommends NRC Actions to Prepare to License Advanced Nuclear Reactors

Washington, D.C. Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released findings of a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that both members previously requested titled, “Nuclear Power: NRC Needs to Take Additional Actions to Prepare to License Advanced Reactors.”

“Restoring American nuclear energy leadership is essential for reducing emissions, providing reliable, affordable, clean energy to Americans, and for building durable economic and strategic relationships around the world,” Chair Rodgers said.“This report’s recommendations align with the Energy and Commerce Committee’s bipartisan legislative efforts and reinforce the need for a modern, efficient, predictable regulatory environment to ensure a robust nuclear industry. I look forward to continuing this important bipartisan work to help usher in the next wave of American nuclear energy.”

In February 2022, Chair Rodgers and Senator Capito wrote the GAO to request an assessment of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) preparedness to review and approve advanced nuclear reactor applications. The GAO report today made four recommendations to the NRC, which closely align with steps taken in Congress to ensure the NRC is fully prepared to efficiently license advanced nuclear reactors.

“With this report, the GAO confirms that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to do more to prepare to efficiently review and approve advanced nuclear reactor designs,” Ranking Member Capito said. “The United States should lead the world in developing and deploying reliable advanced nuclear energy, and Congress is poised to provide the NRC the tools and direction to enable the safe use of these technologies. We took a major step forward in accomplishing these shared goals with the inclusion of my bipartisan bill, the “Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy Act” (ADVANCE Act), in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the ADVANCE Act is signed into law this year.”


The full GAO report with recommendations to the NRC can be found here.

The initial February 2022 request from Capito and McMorris Rodgers can be found here.

For more information on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s nuclear energy legislative efforts, click here.

More information on Capito’s ADVANCE Act, which the Senate passed in July, can be found here.