Wednesday 19 June 2024 - 09:01

US Senate Passes Bill to Support Advanced Nuclear Energy Deployment

Story Code : 1142563
US Senate Passes Bill to Support Advanced Nuclear Energy Deployment
Expanding nuclear power has broad bipartisan support, with Democrats seeing it as critical to decarbonizing the power sector to fight climate change and Republicans viewing it as a way to ensure reliable electricity supply and create jobs, Reuters reported.

A version of the Bill had already passed in the House of Representatives, and it will now go to US President Joe Biden for a signature to become law. It passed the Senate 88-2 votes.

“In a major victory for our climate and American energy security, the US Senate has passed the Advance Act with overwhelming, bipartisan support,” said Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat, who is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

“Today, we sent the Advance Act to the President’s desk because Congress worked together to recognize the importance of nuclear energy to America’s future and got the job done,” said Republican Shelley Moore Capito, a ranking member of the committee.

Among other things, the Bill will cut regulatory costs for companies seeking to license advanced nuclear reactor technologies, create a prize for the successful deployment of next-generation reactors, and speed licencing for nuclear facilities at certain sites.

The Bill could benefit companies like Bill Gates-backed TerraPower, which is trying to build a US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion) Natrium reactor in Wyoming on the site of an old coal plant but is struggling to secure a key permit.

Non-proliferation groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists have warned against measures that ease licensing for high-tech nuclear reactors, including those using highly enriched uranium, arguing that safety should remain the priority.

The US nuclear industry has struggled to expand in recent decades due to soaring costs and complex permitting requirements, and as advanced nuclear technologies prove difficult to fund and develop.