WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the president signed into law the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act, bipartisan legislation to provide a major boost to the future of nuclear energy in America.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, EPW Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.-05), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee, and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.-06), Ranking Member of the House E&C Committee, released the below statements celebrating the enactment of the bipartisan bill (S.870), which passed the Senate by a vote of 88-2 and passed the House by a vote of 393-13.

“With the ADVANCE Act being signed into law, we secured a landmark win for the future of nuclear energy here in America,” EPW Ranking Member Capito said. “Getting substantive, bipartisan policy across the finish line isn’t always easy, but this is the result of years of work to build widespread consensus about the benefits of advanced nuclear reactors to our electric grid, economy, and environment. I’m thrilled the ADVANCE Act is now law to enable the deployment of new nuclear and help keep the United States as the world’s nuclear energy leader.”

“Today is a momentous day for our climate and America’s clean energy future,” EPW Chairman Carper said. “The urgency of the climate crisis demands a swift transition to cleaner energy sources, and fortunately the ADVANCE Act helps us to do just that. This bipartisan law will strengthen our energy and national security, lower greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of new jobs, while ensuring the continued safety of this zero-emissions energy source. I’m thankful to each of my colleagues and their staffs who helped write, pass and deliver this bill to the President’s desk.”

“The Energy and Commerce Committee has a rich history of advancing major bipartisan solutions, and I’m extremely proud that our years of hard work to strengthen American nuclear energy have paid off with this significant legislation that will improve energy reliability and reduce costs for American families and businesses,” E&C Chair McMorris Rodgers said. “This is a major victory for the American people and will help cement U.S. energy leadership for decades to come. I want to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to get this legislation signed into law, especially the Chair of our Energy Subcommittee and bill author Rep. Jeff Duncan.”

“Nuclear power plays an important role in producing carbon-free power for our electric grid, and now our nuclear industry will have the framework it needs to strengthen America’s energy leadership,” E&C Ranking Member Pallone said.“By ensuring we can deploy safer and more reliable nuclear power, the ADVANCE Act will help combat our dependence on dirty fossil fuels, strengthening our energy independence and securing our economic security.  I’m grateful to have worked alongside my colleagues to get this across the finish line.”

The ADVANCE Act will:

·        Facilitate American Nuclear Energy Leadership by:

o   Empowering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead in international forums to develop regulations for advanced nuclear reactors.

o   Directing the Department of Energy (DOE) to improve its process for approving the export of American technology to international markets, while maintaining strong standards for nuclear non-proliferation.

·        Support Development and Deployment of New Nuclear Energy Technologies by:

o   Reducing regulatory costs for companies seeking to license advanced nuclear reactor technologies.

o   Creating a prize to incentivize the successful deployment of next-generation reactor technologies.

o   Requiring the NRC to develop a pathway to enable the timely licensing of microreactors and nuclear facilities at brownfield and retired fossil-fuel energy generation sites.

o   Directing the NRC to establish an accelerated licensing review process to site and construct reactors at existing nuclear sites.

·        Preserve Existing Nuclear Energy by:

o   Modernizing outdated rules that restrict international investment.

·        Strengthen America’s Nuclear Energy Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain Infrastructure by:

o   Directing the NRC to enhance its ability to qualify and license accident-tolerant fuels and advanced nuclear fuels that can increase safety and economic competitiveness for existing reactors and the next generation of advanced reactors.

o   Tasking the NRC to evaluate advanced manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.

·        Improve Commission Resources and Efficiency by:

o   Providing flexibility for the NRC to better manage and invest its resources in activities that support NRC’s modernization efforts and address staffing issues.

o   Providing the NRC Chair the tools to hire and retain exceptionally well-qualified individuals to successfully and safely review and process applications for advanced nuclear reactor licenses.

o   Requiring the NRC to update its Mission Statement to reflect modern beneficial use of nuclear material and energy.

o   Mandating the NRC to establish a licensing structure to support an efficient, timely, and predictable regulatory review.

o   Charging the NRC to streamline the NEPA environmental review process.

Full text of the ADVANCE Act within S.870 can be found here on page 4.

Ranking Member Capito’s floor remarks ahead of the Senate passing the bill on June 18 can be found here.

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