Third Way Sees Major Victory in Senate Passage of Nuclear Innovation Bill
VP Freed says NEICA takes the US “a big step closer” to bringing advanced reactors to market.
WASHINGTON—Third Way applauds the Senate’s passage yesterday of S. 97, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA). This legislation will encourage greater collaboration between the private and public sectors in nuclear innovation, deliver new technologies to fight climate change, and help the U.S. maintain its global leadership in clean energy.
“NEICA will help the U.S. get the most out of our world-class R&D infrastructure and our talented pool of innovators and entrepreneurs. We need the private and public sectors working together if we are to bring these important low-carbon technologies to market. This bill will move us a big step closer,” said Josh Freed, Vice President of Third Way’s Clean Energy Program.
NEICA instructs the Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize private-sector partnerships to develop, test, and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts. It also authorizes new testing capabilities that can accelerate development of a number of advanced nuclear designs and the testing of new reactor components. And NEICA encourages earlier and more frequent interactions between advanced reactor developers and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which could lead to a more efficient licensing process.
The Senate’s passage of this significant legislation comes on the heels of Third Way’s Third Annual Advanced Nuclear Summit, which focused on engaging various communities to get these emerging technologies commercialized. In a video message at the Summit, NEICA cosponsor Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), underscored his support for advanced nuclear as an important climate technology. Whitehouse, along with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Luther Strange (R-AK), and Senator James Risch (R-ID) have lead this bipartisan effort in the Senate.
The House had previously passed a similar bill (H.R. 431), also with bipartisan support.