House advances nuclear technology development legislation

Published on February 01, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted last week to advance HR 590, the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development
Act of 2017.

The bill is designed to support civilian research and development of advanced nuclear technologies, improve their licensing and commercial deployment, and have the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) collaborate on their licensing.

“This legislation is critical in developing the licensing framework that will allow the United States to develop the next generation of nuclear reactors,” Maria Korsnick, Nuclear Energy Institute president and chief executive officer, said.America has led the world in commercial nuclear technology for more than six decades, and the licensing framework this bill seeks to create will ensure America’s role as the leader in nuclear energy in the decades ahead.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry also expressed interest in promoting advanced nuclear technology development during his secretary of energy confirmation hearing.

“Small modular and advanced reactors are exactly the types of investments DOE should be making,” Perry said.

The House also voted unanimously to advance the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, while the Senate quickly introduced companion bill, S 97.

“The journey starts with preservation of America’s existing nuclear power plants, including second license renewal to allow today’s plants to operate beyond 60 years. It proceeds through construction of more large light water reactors, like the four being built in Georgia and South Carolina,” Korsnick said. “It further includes deployment of small modular light water reactors in the mid-2020s, and finally, development, demonstration and deployment of advanced nonlight-water reactors into the 2030s.”