WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and ranking member Tom Carper (D-DE) released the following statements on the committee’s passage of S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act. The bipartisan legislation passed the committee with a vote of 18 to 3.
"The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act will promote advancements in the nuclear sector,” said Barrasso. “Our bipartisan nuclear energy legislation will simplify and modernize regulations at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Doing so will create jobs, lower energy costs, and allow America to remain a leader in nuclear development. I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill and look forward to passing it on the Senate floor.”
“This legislation shows how we can work together, across the aisle, to address issues that are important for our country,” said Carper. “When done responsibly, nuclear power can help combat the negative impacts of climate change on our environment and public health, while also providing economic opportunities for Americans. I want to thank the chairman for including my changes to the bill in the manager's amendment that help provide more support to advanced nuclear reactors and ensure that the United States is on the cutting edge of nuclear technology. I’m pleased we were able to pass this bipartisan bill out of committee today, and I look forward to help moving this bill through the Senate.”
S. 512 was introduced by Barrasso and is cosponsored by Carper. It is also cosponsored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Mike Rounds (R-SD). The legislation has received broad support from stakeholders.
S. 512 will modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) functions to promote innovation by establishing new transparency and accountability measures to the commission’s budget and fee programs and by developing the regulatory framework necessary to enable the licensing of advanced nuclear reactors.
Additionally, the act will improve the efficiency of uranium regulation and will bring transparency and accountability to the process by which the Department of Energy disposes of the American public’s stockpile of excess uranium.
The manager’s amendment, adopted in committee with a vote of 18 to 3, strengthens support for innovation in advanced nuclear. Among the changes included, the manager’s amendment adds incentives for private investments in research and development in advanced nuclear technology and supports the licensing process for advanced technology that could potentially make nuclear fuel rods in current and future reactors safer than existing technology.