March 29, 2019

West Virginia, Ohio Senators Push Nuclear Energy Bill | The Parkersburg News And Sentinel

WASHINGTON — A bill to encourage innovation in nuclear energy and ensure advanced reactors can provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable power has been reintroduced by the U.S. senators from Ohio and West Virginia.

The Nuclear Energy Leadership Act would re-establish U.S. leadership in nuclear energy and join innovators from the private and public sectors to develop the next-generation of advanced reactor concepts. The bill was originally introduced in September near the end of the session and was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, but did not get out of committee.

Among the senators re-introducing the bill were Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rob Portman of Ohio.

“It’s important that we continue to position the United States as a global energy leader, and that requires us to take full advantage of our energy potential,” Capito said.

“Along with our nation’s coal resources, nuclear power can provide critical base-load electricity needed to power our homes and businesses,” she said. “Our bipartisan legislation will help drive innovation and development when it comes to nuclear power and technology, supporting its important role in an all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

A balance must be found between energy production and the environment, Manchin said.

“Each technology provides different advantages for energy production, which is why investing in new technologies is so important,” Manchin said.

The Nuclear Energy Leadership Act enables private-public partnerships build to advanced nuclear demonstration reactors over the next 20 years, which will ensure the reliability of the nation’s energy grid and offer commercial ways to build reactors that provide “carbon-free energy and new means of supporting industrial processes,” he said.

Advanced reactors are the next generation of breakthrough nuclear technologies that will offer significant advantages for power generation. Some are smaller than today’s commercial reactors and can provide increased reliability and resilience to the grid, as well as off-grid power.

The bill would:

* Authorize long-term power purchase agreements.

* Create a long-term nuclear power purchase agreement pilot program, a nuclear energy strategic plan, advanced nuclear fuel security programs and a university nuclear leadership program.

* Encourage advanced nuclear reactor research and development.

* Study a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source.

Senators reintroducing the bill are Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Arkansas, Cory Booker of New Jersey, James Risch and Mike Crapo of Idaho, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Chris Coons of Delaware, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Capito, Manchin and Portman.


By:  Staff Writers