Crapo, Capito, Whitehouse, Barrasso, Booker introduce laws to maintain and expand the American nuclear energy sector

July 16, 2021

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey reintroduced the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA), which would improve the country’s nuclear infrastructure, secure America’s uranium supply chain, stimulate the economy, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and strengthen our energy and national security.

“The Idaho National Lab is a world leader in research, innovation and development of clean, reliable nuclear energy technologies,” said Senator Crapo. “To maintain America’s supremacy in nuclear power, the advancement of safe, reliable, and affordable nuclear power remains critical. The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act provides a comprehensive approach to strengthen the long-term sustainability of our country’s diverse energy portfolio and further facilitate our nuclear competitiveness through greater collaboration with our allies, workforce development and the use of advanced nuclear technologies. ”

“It is important that we continue to position the United States as the world leader in energy, and that requires that we utilize all sources of America’s energy potential to the full. Together with our country’s coal resources, nuclear power can provide the critical clean and reliable electricity needed to power our homes and businesses. I am proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this important piece of legislation that will help sustain and expand our use of nuclear energy, which will create jobs and strengthen our energy and national security, ”said Senator Capito.

“Nuclear power is a major source of carbon-free energy. Our bill would help keep facilities online safely and prevent them from being replaced by dirtier fossil fuels, ”said Senator Whitehouse. “We must also invest in the development of a new generation of nuclear energy technologies that can productively reuse spent nuclear fuel.”

“The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act will strengthen both America’s energy and national security,” said Senator Barrasso. “Given the Russian and Chinese aggression, it is critical that we remain the world’s leading developer of nuclear technology. This bipartisan law does it. Nuclear power is reliable and clean. Our bipartisan bill supports the continued operation of the existing American reactors and creates the conditions for the use of advanced nuclear technologies such as the sodium reactor, which is coming to Wyoming. ”

“Nuclear power plays an important role as we fight the clock to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change,” said Senator Booker. “The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act will facilitate the development of the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors, help keep our existing reactor fleet safe and secure, and provide vital resources to clean up the legacy of abandoned mines on tribal land.”

The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2021 will:

  • Restoring US international competitiveness and global leadership;
    • ANIA authorizes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead a consensus-building process in international forums to set regulations for advanced nuclear reactor designs.
    • ANIA gives the NRC the power to refuse imports of Russian nuclear fuel on national security grounds.
  • Expansion of nuclear energy through advanced core technologies;
    • ANIA creates an award as an incentive for the successful licensing process of next generation nuclear technologies and fuels.
    • ANIA calls on the NRC to identify and remove regulatory barriers so that advanced nuclear technologies can reduce industrial emissions.
  • Preserve existing nuclear energy; and
    • ANIA approves a targeted loan program to maintain nuclear power plants that are threatened with premature decommissioning.
    • ANIA modernizes outdated rules that limit investments in nuclear energy.
  • Revitalizing America’s nuclear supply chain infrastructure.
    • ANIA identifies modern manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper and smarter.

A section by section of the bill can be found HERE. You can find the full legal text HERE.

Legislation Senator Crapo, who advocated further nuclear innovation, was previously signed into law to ensure that research conducted at the Idaho National Laboratory continues to contribute to our diverse domestic energy resources and keep our nation at the forefront of nuclear innovation.

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