WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), along with Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) sent a letter to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Kristine Svinicki applauding the commission for initiating development of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for advanced reactors. The senators also called on the commission to broaden the scope of the proposed generic environmental impact statement to make the document easier to use. The letter also requests the commission to consider actions to improve the environmental permitting of advanced reactors.
In the letter, the senators request the NRC align the proposal with the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA). NEIMA requires the NRC to establish a regulatory framework for the NRC to license and utilities to deploy advanced nuclear technologies that reflects safer and smaller reactor designs. This will help nuclear innovators have a predictable and efficient regulatory process.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today thanked her colleagues for supporting the inclusion of S. 903, her Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), in S. 4049, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021. The Senate today passed the NDAA bill, with NELA incorporated by amendment, by a vote of 86 to 14.“For too long, the United States has lagged woefully behind on innovative nuclear energy technologies, which comes at great cost to our economy, our global leadership, and the environment,” Murkowski said. “The Department of Defense is a logical first customer for advanced reactors, especially the microreactors currently under development, which can be deployed to remote regions. Nuclear energy can also provide safe, clean, and affordable power to homes, schools, and businesses that traditionally rely on more costly energy sources.”
"Today marks a significant step forward in U.S. efforts to support the energy needs of allies around the world. The change also positions DFC to accelerate growth in developing economies with limited energy resources," said DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. "We look forward to exploring opportunities to leverage this new capability to deliver affordable, reliable, and emission-free energy where it is needed most. At the same time, these efforts will also advance innovative technologies that adhere to the United States' high safety, security, and non-proliferation standards."
"I applaud the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for moving forward with the implementation of a key recommendation of President Trump's Nuclear Fuel Working Group Strategy," said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. "Over the past three years, Department of Energy officials have met with government and private industry around the world who are eager to import American civil nuclear technology, yet funding challenges prevented them from doing so as a result of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation's legacy ban on financing of nuclear projects. Reversing this ban is a commonsense action that will increase global energy security and help other countries meet their own emissions reduction goals while providing their citizens with reliable baseload generation."