U.S. Senate forwards bill to license advanced nuclear power
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators easily advanced a bill last week that will update regulations to help drive advanced nuclear power plants into the market.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 18-3 to pass the bill, sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), which is an updated version of a similar bill that stalled in the Senate last year. The bill would require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to develop a regulatory framework enabling the licensing of advanced nuclear reactors, which are expected to come into develop in 10 to 15 years.
“Our bipartisan nuclear energy legislation will simplify and modernize regulations at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” said environment committee Chairman Barrasso. “Doing so will create jobs, lower energy costs and allow America to remain a leader in nuclear development. I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill and look forward to passing it on the Senate floor.”
Republicans typically support nuclear power because it is a reliable source of electricity and can help create jobs and economic activity, while Democrats are often in favor of nuclear because it produces no carbon emissions which contribute to global climate change.
“This legislation shows how we can work together, across the aisle, to address issues that are important for our country,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware), the top Democrat on the committee. “When done responsibly, nuclear power can help combat the negative impacts of climate change on our environment and public health, while also providing economic opportunities for Americans.”