Gonzalez proposes bipartisan bill to accelerate nuclear innovation

To hasten innovation and bolster private-sector investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) could no longer charge fees to review applications for advanced nuclear reactor licenses under a bipartisan bill introduced on Dec. 7 by U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). 

“By eliminating application fees for advanced fission and fusion reactors,” said the congressman, “we can yield enormous innovation benefits that create jobs, improve our nation’s security, and generate more emissions-free energy.”

Rep. Gonzalez sponsored the Accelerating Nuclear Innovation through Fee Reform Act, H.R. 6154, with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), which would exclude the current NRC application review costs that can reach tens of millions of dollars for advanced nuclear companies, thereby disincentivizing them from bringing new technologies to market, according to information provided by the lawmakers.

“If the U.S. wants to be a climate leader while remaining energy independent, nuclear energy has to play a pivotal role in our nation’s energy mix,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “Unfortunately, the current NRC fee model limits innovation by constraining the agency’s resources and discouraging nuclear innovators early in the project lifecycle.” 

The legislation, which is supported by the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, ClearPath Action, and Third Way, has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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