Should congress provide monetary incentives to advance nuclear technology, while further regulating the nuclear industry?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill would regulate enriched uranium sources being exported and processed in the United States, prohibiting them from reaching certain countries for national security reasons. It would also provide incentives for the improvement of nuclear technologies by reducing licensing fees and giving out prizes for the development of such technologies. It will continue to limit liability within the nuclear industry and require the Nuclear Regulatory Committee (NRC), to hire more staff, create a timely licensing process for new nuclear production facilities, and coordinate international nuclear activities. Sponsor: Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore (Republican, West Virginia)
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Opponents say

•      "There are nonproliferation concerns that are essential to ensuring that there’s a gold standard of safety in nuclear export. Otherwise, plutonium and uranium could end up in the hands of the wrong people." Source: Senator Jeff Merkley (Democrat, Oregon) E & E, Politico

•      "The Advance Act takes unprecedented steps to have the Nuclear Regulatory Commission promote nuclear exports. That’s not the job of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Its job is to promote safety, to ensure that plants are safe." Source: Senator Ed Market (Democrat, Massachusetts) Courthouse News

Proponents say

•      "The ADVANCE Act achieves what nuclear legislation always should: It balances environmental justice to address legacy harms of nuclear activities with policies to support the future adoption of innovative advanced reactors. This bill would advance restorative justice for tribal communities still bearing the health effects of abandoned uranium mines by authorizing new funding for clean-ups. It would explore ways to reinvigorate brownfields with new nuclear facilities, while supporting towns facing economic hardships from the decommissioning of reactors. And it would further enable U.S. leadership in climate diplomacy by tightening interagency coordination on the export of civil nuclear technologies. We’re thrilled to see progressive nuclear champions like Sens. Whitehouse and Booker as original cosponsors of this legislation and equally appreciate the support of Chairman Carper." (Good Energy Collective) Press Release

•     "This bill prioritizes the future of American energy security by establishing commonsense policies to help deploy nuclear energy, which is a clean and reliable generation source for our nation’s electric grid. It also directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to create a pathway for conventional energy source sites to be repurposed and used in the future. I’m proud to lead a strong, bipartisan group of senators in introducing the ADVANCE Act, which signals an important step toward strengthening America’s nuclear energy sector." Source: Senator Shelley Moore Capito (Republican, West Virginia) Environment and Public Works

•     "As our nation’s largest source of carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy is critical to meeting our climate goals and ensuring our energy independence. The ADVANCE Act would help modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, providing the agency with the tools and highly-skilled workforce necessary to facilitate the deployment of clean, affordable nuclear energy. The legislation would do so in a way that supports job creation and strengthens our nation’s nuclear leadership globally." Source: Senator Thomas Carper  (Democrat, Delaware) Press Release