BPC Action Applauds Introduction of the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act in Energy and Environment

BPC Action applauds the introduction to of the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act. The bill will strengthen the existing nuclear fleet, research and develop additional economic opportunities for nuclear energy, and enable the continued development of advanced nuclear reactors. This legislation will support the continued operation of crucial zero-carbon energy technology and improve the international competitiveness of the United States in advanced nuclear reactor technologies.

The Nuclear Energy R&D Act aims to bolster both the existing, traditional nuclear fleet, as well as emergent advanced nuclear reactor technologies. To support these complementary goals, the bill establishes a light water sustainability program to extend the safe operation of the current nuclear fleet. It also creates an advanced reactor technologies program focused on proliferation-resistant and passively safe designs, as well as a demonstration program for such designs. Notably, the legislation also calls for hybrid energy systems research and development, particularly the use of nuclear energy for desalination, hydrogen production, industrial heat, carbon capture, use, and storage, among others. Support for diverse potential applications of nuclear energy will help provide additional economic opportunities for a significant source of zero-carbon energy. Further, the bill focuses on fuel cycle research and development, namely the research and development of high-assay low-enriched uranium, a fuel source needed by many advanced nuclear reactor technologies. Finally, the bill emphasizes and supports continued education and outreach, international coordination, and nuclear energy technical assistance.These many research, development, and demonstration efforts are necessary for America’s continued leadership in nuclear energy, particularly advanced nuclear reactors. We look forward to working with Congress to make progress on these important issues.