WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ClearPath Action, a 501(c)4 working to accelerate conservative clean energy solutions lead by conservative philanthropist Jay Faison, today issued a letter of support for the recently introduced Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, S. 2795, which would develop the regulatory framework necessary to advance the licensing of advanced nuclear reactors and bring transparency and accountability to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) budget and fee programs.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced the legislation. The full text of the letter is included below:
Chairman James Inhofe U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Washington, DC 20510
Ranking Member Barbara Boxer U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of ClearPath Action, a 501(c)4 organization working to accelerate conservative clean energy solutions, I want to let you know of our support for the proposed Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act.
Nuclear power is one of the most important energy resources of the United States, representing a triumph of American ingenuity and engineering. Nuclear energy is highly reliable, clean and affordable, and is a vital part of our electricity mix.
Nuclear plants built decades ago still safely provide 20% of our electricity. But as these plants near retirement, a new generation of advanced nuclear technology is being developed by dozens of companies and universities across the nation. Advanced nuclear reactors promise benefits, such as increased safety and affordability, resistance to proliferation, and the ability to run on old nuclear waste.
Several of these advanced nuclear companies will begin applying for design certifications within the next 5 years, and one company called NuScale Power plans to apply by the end of 2016. However, expensive and arduous regulations at the NRC are encouraging others to build abroad for initial deployment.
Instead of driving our engineers overseas, we should be promoting a regulatory environment that is safe, innovative and efficient. The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act does just that – directing the NRC to develop a technology-inclusive licensing plan that promotes safety without being prescriptive, while modifying the cost recovery mechanism so utilities aren't on the hook for other companies' technologies.
Updating our regulatory system for advanced reactors is an important part of the broader need to "rightsize" the NRC to match its workload. To that end, this legislation also wisely prevents the NRC from allowing its annual fees and administrative costs to overwhelm the broader nuclear industry.
The NRC is second to none for safety, but it has unfortunately also become second to none for cost, delays, and complex rulemaking. This legislation preserves our record of safety while preserving an abundant clean energy future for our children.
Jay Faison President
ClearPath Action Fund for Conservative Clean Energy, Inc. 300 New Jersey St, NW, #907 Washington, DC 20001
cc: Senators Mike Crapo, Cory Booker, and Sheldon Whitehouse