Nuclear technology development legislation passes house

Published on January 26, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The U.S. House of Representatives advanced legislation this week designed to provide regulatory certainty for advanced nuclear technology.

The Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act, authored by Reps. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), requires the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to collaborate on regulatory framework and licensing requirements that would provide more certainty for advanced nuclear technology.

“Our nation must continue as the leader in clean energy innovation and technologies,” McNerney said. “As the U.S. moves toward a low carbon, sustainable energy economy, nuclear energy has the potential to play a role in meeting state and national goals. The Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act provides direction and a framework for industry experts that are essential in promoting new and innovative reactor technologies that are safe and reliable.”

More than 50 companies have invested over $1 billion in advanced nuclear technology, but a lack of regulatory framework and licensing certainty may be posing a threat to continued investment and implementation.

“Advanced nuclear technology will play an important role in helping the U.S. maintain its role as a global energy leader,” Latta said. “However, regulatory ambiguity and uncertainty threaten the continued development of this source of clean, reliable power. Providing guidance and a licensing framework for the nuclear industry will aid the efforts of the private sector to implement cutting-edge technology that is safe and effective.”

Latta and McNerney introduced nearly identical legislation last year, which was advanced by the House, but not the Senate.