U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced a bill that creates a bipartisan commission within the Department of Energy (DOE) to study the civilian nuclear power industry.
The American Nuclear Leadership Commission Act directs the new commission to explore how a nuclear reactor is brought from development to commercialization as well as potential market opportunities for advanced reactors. Further, the commission would explore the problems of the nuclear fuel cycle from beginning to end; the industrial capacity of the US to design and build nuclear reactors; the competitiveness of US nuclear reactors in export markets; how advanced reactors may be able to reduce the cost of nuclear power; the environmental benefits of civilian nuclear power; and what regulations and laws exist that limit the expansion of civilian nuclear power.
“Consumers are seeking energy sources with lower emissions, and nuclear power must be part of that mix. Right now, America’s leadership in civilian nuclear power is being challenged by Russia and China who want to corner the market,” Burgess, a Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, said. “This legislation will create a bipartisan commission to examine the future of the civilian nuclear power industry in the United States and investigate the challenges ahead. I believe this commission will shine a spotlight on those challenges and provide the answers necessary to ensure our nation’s continued leadership in nuclear energy.”
This commission would be evenly split by party membership, with each serving two-year terms and chaired by the DOE Secretary. After the commission completes the study, it will report to Congress on its findings and make policy recommendations.