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Bill promoting nuclear energy clears Senate

By a voice vote, the U.S. Senate Thursday approved bipartisan legislation intended to promote America’s nuclear energy industry. It is called the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA).

Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) said, “”Our bipartisan legislation will help create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and maintain America’s leadership in nuclear innovation. It will give consumers and licensees greater transparency and accountability over how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission spends their money.”

Barrasso said the bill would direct the NRC to establish a licensing process for advanced nuclear reactors and other technologies.”

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo (R) said the legislation would help support development of technology being developed at the Idaho National Laboratory, as well as other labs across the country.

He said NEIMA will encourage public and private investment in nuclear research and spur the development of regulatory framework. It would also improve NRC licensing procedures by establishing new transparency and accountability measures.

Crapo said that would make the process of developing and commercializing nuclear technology less cost-prohibitive, enabling more of INL’s research to reach the commercial market.

“The research being completed at Idaho National Lab into 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.”

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