And in news not related to the government shutdown or how POTUS Donald Trump will bring about the end of America, a piece of legislation aimed at revitalizing the beleaguered nuclear power industry literally sailed through Congress on Friday.
The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act was approved by a vote of 361-10 in the House after the legislation passed the Senate on a voice vote on Thursday.
Introduced by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., and co-sponsored by several Republicans and Democrats, the legislation calls for a number of reforms that would unshackle the industry from the reams of regulations that have tamped down the expansion of nuclear power throughout the country.
The bill streamlines the manner in which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversees plants by improving licensing procedures and granting licensees new transparency into how the agency spends its funds.
Also, the legislation encourages innovation and research into nuclear power as well as the development of new technology.
But the overarching objective of the bill was to make the licensing and commercialization of nuclear power and technology much quicker and more affordable. As it stands now, government regulations and the lengthy licensing process make building new nuclear plants unaffordable, even as existing plants reach the end of their useful lives.
“The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) is a significant, positive step toward reform of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission fee collection process,” Maria Korsnick, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, said in a statement Friday.
“This legislation establishes a more equitable and transparent funding structure which will benefit all operating reactors and future licensees,” she said. “The bill also reaffirms Congress’s support for nuclear innovation by working to establish an efficient and stable regulatory structure that is prepared to license the advanced reactors of the future.”
The bill’s passage comes as several states are also working to salvage their nuclear plants by providing economic support in the form of clean energy credits, among other ways.
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