September 07, 2018

Manchin, Capito and Colleagues Introduce Nuclear Energy Leadership Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators  Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation to boost nuclear energy innovation and ensure advanced reactors can provide clean, safe, affordable, and reliable power to meet national and global energy needs. Led by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), additional co-sponsors include Senators James Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Chris Coons (D-DE).

S. 3422, the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), will help reestablish U.S. leadership in nuclear energy by launching robust public-private partnerships among the federal government, leading research institutions, and the best industry innovators. The bill also promotes education initiatives, workforce development, and training in nuclear science.

“I have always said, that we must find a balance between energy and the environment and commit to an all of the above energy policy that uses everything we have – coal, wind, solar, natural gas, nuclear, and more. That’s why investing in new energy technologies is so important,” Senator Manchin said. “Our bipartisan legislation will advance essential nuclear power technology to better ensure the future reliability of our grid.”

“In order to take full advantage of our country’s energy potential and position ourselves as a global energy leader, we need to pursue a true all-of-the-above energy strategy; and along with our nation’s coal resources, nuclear power must continue to provide invaluable baseload electricity as part of that strategy. This bipartisan legislation will help drive innovation, efficiency, and development when it comes to nuclear power and technology,” Senator Capito 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. Others will utilize exotic fuels, materials, and coolants to decrease the cost of delivered power or provide high-temperature process heat for industrial manufacturing.

Although the United States invented and commercialized nuclear power, our leadership has slipped, creating the need for new policies that encourage opportunities for the industry to design and deploy advanced reactor concepts. NELA will help facilitate the path to market for advanced reactors by allowing the federal government to be an early adopter of commercialized technologies; providing for needed scientific research facilities; breaking down fuel availability barriers when the market cannot; and training the next generation of nuclear scientists.

A copy of the full text of the legislation is available here. Click here for a one-page bill summary and here for a section-by-section.

# # #