JUST IN: U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Boost Nuclear Power Development - www.conservativeroof.com
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JUST IN: U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Boost Nuclear Power Development

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved a bill aimed at streamlining the construction process for nuclear plants, making it faster and more cost-effective.

Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, from both the Democratic and Republican parties, hailed the legislation as a crucial move towards a cleaner energy future.

The bipartisan ADVANCE Act, seen as a victory for the nuclear power industry, passed the Senate with an 88–2 vote. Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were the only ones who opposed the bill.

The legislation, which raised safety concerns among critics, was bundled with a separate bill that renews support for the U.S. Fire Administration and firefighter grant programs.

The legislation seeks to promote advanced nuclear technology by empowering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead international regulations, simplify export processes, lower licensing costs, encourage reactor deployment, and improve efficiency in fuel cycles and resource management.

The NRC also has to report to Congress within 180 days of enactment on its efforts to simplify and speed up the environmental review process for nuclear reactor license applications under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

Critics expressed safety concerns before the bill’s passage.

Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), stated on June 17 that the legislation instructs the NRC to enforce “only the bare minimum level” of oversight at nuclear facilities.

He expressed concern that this would weaken safety and security oversight, creating a safety risk.

“Passage of this legislation will only increase the danger to people already living downwind of nuclear facilities from a severe accident or terrorist attack, and it will make it even more difficult for communities to prevent risky, experimental reactors from being sited in their midst,” Lyman said.

The White House has not yet commented on whether President Biden will sign the bill. However, White House national climate adviser Ali Zaidi expressed support for the legislation in a post on X on Tuesday.

“Really appreciate the bipartisan efforts on advanced nuclear,” Zaidi wrote.

“We benefit from more tools in the toolbox as we take on the climate crisis—with the urgency the moment demands,” the White House adviser said.

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