Chairman Barrasso releases draft of American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released draft legislation to revitalize the United States’ nuclear infrastructure. The draft legislation, the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020, will enable U.S. international leadership, preserve America’s uranium supply chain, reduce carbon emissions, and strengthen our economic, energy, and national security. The EPW committee will hold a legislative hearing on the draft legislation on Wednesday, August 5. 

“America must remain the global leader of nuclear energy in the face of Russian and Chinese competition,” said Barrasso. “The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act will strengthen both our energy and national security interests. Nuclear power is clean and reliable. The draft legislation supports the continued operation of our existing reactors and helps get innovative technologies up and running. It also ensures the nuclear fuel that powers our homes and businesses comes from trusted sources. Wyoming produces more uranium than any other state. The Russians flood the market with cheap uranium to undercut Wyoming’s producers. We can’t put America’s energy security into the hands of our adversaries. This draft bill creates a national uranium reserve, so America can always have the fuel it needs.” 

The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020 (ANIA) will: 

  • Reestablish American International Competitiveness and Global Leadership;
    • ANIA empowers the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead in international forums to develop regulations for advanced nuclear reactor designs.
    • ANIA codifies the Trump administration’s proposal to provide the NRC authority to deny imports of Russian and Chinese nuclear fuel on national security grounds.
    • Expand Nuclear Energy Through Advanced Nuclear Technologies;
      • ANIA makes the permitting process for advanced nuclear more predictable and efficient.
      • ANIA creates a prize to incentivize the successful licensing process of next generation nuclear technologies and fuels.
      • ANIA requires the NRC to identify and update regulatory barriers to enable advanced nuclear technologies to reduce industrial emissions.
      • Preserve Existing Nuclear Energy; and
        • ANIA authorizes a targeted credit program to preserve nuclear plants at risk of prematurely shutting down.
        • ANIA modernizes outdated rules that restrict investment in nuclear energy.
        • Revitalize America’s Nuclear Supply Chain Infrastructure.
          • ANIA helps develop the advanced nuclear fuels needed to power 21st century nuclear reactor designs.
          • ANIA authorizes a uranium reserve to ensure America does not lose the capacity to fuel its nuclear reactors with American fuel.
          • ANIA identifies modern manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.

Read the section-by-section of the draft American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020 here

Read the text of the draft American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020 here

Background Information: 

On July 29, 2020, Reps. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) introduced H.R. 7814, the Nuclear Prosperity and Security Act, to create a national uranium reserve.

On April 23, 2020, the Department of Energy released its report titled, “Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage.” The report found the decline of our industrial nuclear supply capabilities threatens our national interest and national security. The report recommends actions that will set the United States back on the right track. ANIA implements the report’s key recommendations.

On January 14, 2019, President Trump signed Barrasso’s legislation, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), into law. Beyond requiring the NRC to develop a rule to license advanced reactors, NEIMA provides the public greater clarity into the process by which the NRC develops its budget and recovers its costs through fees. The law requires the NRC to establish performance metrics and milestones for licensing and other regulatory actions. NEIMA was cosponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).