July 16, 2021

Crapo, Capito, Whitehouse, Barrasso, Booker Introduce Legislation to Preserve and Expand America’s Nuclear Energy Sector

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) re-introduced the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA), which would improve the nation’s nuclear infrastructure, secure America’s uranium supply chain, grow the economy, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and strengthen our energy and national security. 

“The Idaho National Lab is a world leader in research, innovation and development of clean, reliable nuclear energy technologies,” Senator Crapo said.  “In order to preserve the United States’ eminence in nuclear power, the advancement of safe, reliable and affordable nuclear energy remains essential.  The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act provides a comprehensive approach to help empower the long-term viability of our nation’s diverse energy portfolio and further facilitate our nuclear competitiveness through greater collaboration with our allies, workforce development and deployment of advanced nuclear energy technologies.” 

“It’s important that we continue to position the United States as a global energy leader, and that requires us to take full advantage of all sources of America’s energy potential.  Along with our nation’s coal resources, nuclear power can provide critical clean and reliable electricity needed to power our homes and businesses.  I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this important legislation that will help preserve and expand our use of nuclear energy, which will create jobs and strengthen our energy and national security,” Senator Capito said

“Nuclear power is a significant source of carbon-free energy.  Our bill would help safely operating plants stay online, preventing their replacement with dirtier fossil fuels,” Senator Whitehouse said.  “We also need to invest in developing a new generation of nuclear power technologies that can productively reuse spent nuclear fuel.” 

“The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act will strengthen both America’s energy and national security,” Senator Barrasso said.  “In the face of Russian and Chinese aggression, it’s critical we remain the world’s leading developer of nuclear energy technology.  This bipartisan legislation gets that done. Nuclear power is dependable and clean.  Our bipartisan bill supports the continued operation of America’s existing reactors and sets the stage to deploy advanced nuclear technologies like the Natrium reactor coming to Wyoming.” 

“Nuclear energy has an important role to play as we race against the clock to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” Senator Booker said.  “The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act will facilitate the development of the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors, help keep our existing fleet of reactors safely operating, and provide critical funding to clean up legacy pollution from abandoned mines located on Tribal lands.” 

The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2021 will: 

  • Reestablish American international competitiveness and global leadership;
    • ANIA empowers the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead a consensus-building process in international forums to establish regulations for advanced nuclear reactor designs.
    • ANIA provides the NRC authority to deny imports of Russian nuclear fuel on national security grounds.
  • Expand nuclear energy through advanced nuclear technologies;
    • ANIA creates a prize to incentivize the successful licensing process of next generation nuclear technologies and fuels.
    • ANIA requires the NRC to identify and resolve regulatory barriers to enable advanced nuclear technologies to reduce industrial emissions.
  • Preserve existing nuclear energy; and
    • ANIA authorizes a targeted credit program to preserve nuclear plants at risk of prematurely shutting down.
    • ANIA modernizes outdated rules that restrict investment in nuclear energy.
  • Revitalize America’s nuclear supply chain infrastructure.
    • ANIA identifies modern manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper and smarter. 

A section-by-section of the bill can be found HERE.  Full text of the bill can be found HERE

Legislation Senator Crapo championed to further nuclear innovation was previously signed into law to help ensure the research conducted at the Idaho National Laboratory continues to contribute to our diverse domestic energy resources and keeps our nation at the forefront of nuclear innovation. 

###