December 20, 2018

Legislation Promoting Nuclear Innovation and Advanced Reactor Licensing Passes Senate

Championed by Senators Crapo and Risch, House will now consider measure benefiting research occurring at INL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation championed by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch to bring into wide use newer, more efficient energy reactors cleared the United States Senate today by a voice vote.  The bill, S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), will support development of and innovation in new, advanced nuclear reactor technology that is being conducted at the Idaho National Laboratory as well as other national laboratories across the nation. 

NEIMA will promote innovation in the nuclear energy sector by encouraging public and private investment in nuclear research and spur the development of a regulatory framework within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) necessary for licensing advanced nuclear reactors.  The measure will also improve the NRC licensing process by establishing new transparency and accountability measures to its budget and fee programs. By reforming the NRC fee structure, NEIMA will make the process of developing and commercializing nuclear technology less cost-prohibitive, enabling more of the research performed at INL to reach the commercial market. 

“The research being completed at Idaho National Lab to develop modern, clean and efficient energy contributes immensely to our nation’s domestic energy portfolio,” said Crapo. “This bipartisan measure is important for Idaho because it will help ensure that the work being done at Idaho’s National Lab will have a path through to the commercial market. NEIMA pushes the NRC to modernize so that it has the ability to license advanced reactors in a safe, timely, and transparent manner.” 

“As we look ahead, there is bipartisan agreement that the use of clean, nuclear power should be part of our ‘all-of-the-above’ American energy strategy,” said Risch. “As our nation’s flagship nuclear energy lab, I am confident that the men and women at the Idaho National Lab will pioneer the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors—this legislation will help ensure their success by enabling processes for licensing these new advanced reactors.” 

The legislation will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. 

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