Scott Supports Bill to Support Future of Nuclear Energy

WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) voted in favor of the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act, which passed as part of the Fire Grants and Safety Act by a vote of 88-2, and will now head to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

South Carolina is a leader in the field with a majority of our power coming from nuclear energy. The ADVANCE Act will remove burdensome red tape to pave the way for other states to follow our lead and move us in the right direction toward a secure and robust energy future,” said Senator Scott. “I am grateful for Congressman Duncan and Senator Capito’s leadership to advance the largest update to nuclear energy policy in decades, pushing us one step closer to energy independence.”

The legislation was introduced by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).

The ADVANCE Act will:

  • Facilitate American Nuclear Energy Leadership by:
    • Empowering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead in international forums to develop regulations for advanced nuclear reactors.
    • Directing the Department of Energy (DOE) to improve its process for approving the export of American technology to international markets, while maintaining strong standards for nuclear non-proliferation.
  • Support Development and Deployment of New Nuclear Energy Technologies by:
    • Reducing regulatory costs for companies seeking to license advanced nuclear reactor technologies.
    • Creating a prize to incentivize the successful deployment of next-generation reactor technologies.
    • Requiring the NRC to develop a pathway to enable the timely licensing of microreactors and nuclear facilities at brownfield and retired fossil-fuel energy generation sites.
    • Directing the NRC to establish an accelerated licensing review process to site and construct reactors at existing nuclear sites.
  • Preserve Existing Nuclear Energy by:
    • Modernizing outdated rules that restrict international investment.
  • Strengthen America’s Nuclear Energy Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain Infrastructure by:
    • Directing the NRC to enhance its ability to qualify and license accident-tolerant fuels and advanced nuclearfuels that can increase safety and economic competitiveness for existing reactors and the next generation of advanced reactors.
    • Tasking the NRC to evaluate advanced manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.
  • Improve Commission Resources and Efficiency by:
    • Providing flexibility for the NRC to better manage and invest its resources in activities that support NRC’s modernization efforts and address staffing issues.
    • Providing the NRC Chair the tools to hire and retain exceptionally well-qualified individuals to successfully and safely review and process applications for advanced nuclear reactor licenses.
    • Requiring the NRC to update its Mission Statement to reflect modern beneficial use of nuclear material and energy.
    • Mandating the NRC to establish a licensing structure to support an efficient, timely, and predictable regulatory review.
    • Charging the NRC to streamline the NEPA environmental review process.