WTAS: Support Builds for Senator Scott’s Efficient Nuclear Licensing Hearings Act

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced support from various South Carolina and national stakeholders for his Efficient Nuclear Licensing Hearings Act, which would boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by eliminating outdated processes currently required of the NRC when reviewing new nuclear reactor applications. 

What They Are Saying:
“We commend Senators Chris Coons and Tim Scott for introducing the Efficient Nuclear Licensing Hearing Act. This bipartisan measure underscores the pressing need to streamline the NRC’s reactor licensing process for the generation of reliable, clean nuclear power,” said Michael Flannigan, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute. “Removing the outdated requirement for the uncontested mandatory hearings held by the Commission will help to expedite the deployment of vital next-generation nuclear technologies critical for our energy independence and climate goals. As this Act does not affect the public’s right to request or participate in a hearing on environmental and technical issues, it appropriately addresses licensing efficiency and the public’s involvement.” 

“Deploying more nuclear energy is a key component to an all-of-the-above strategy that lowers global emissions, but the process to build a new nuclear power plant is outdated,” said Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) President Heather Reams. “CRES is proud to support Sen. Tim Scott’s bipartisan Efficient Nuclear Licensing Hearings Act, a commonsense improvement that will streamline the approval process for nuclear reactors and save taxpayer dollars while still upholding the high licensing standards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).”

“An efficient and predictable licensing process is key for companies considering new nuclear technologies,” said Niko McMurray, ClearPath Action’s Managing Director of International and Nuclear Policy. “Removing duplicative processes that do not limit opportunities for public engagement or negatively impact public health and safety allows the NRC staff to focus on what is important. The Efficient Nuclear Licensing Hearings Act strikes that balance.”

“The United Coalition for Advanced Nuclear Power strongly supports the Efficient Nuclear Licensing Hearings Act, which provides common-sense reforms to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as it faces a growing volume of applications from the advanced reactor community.  The next generation of nuclear energy is vital for securing America’s energy future, and this legislation takes an important step in modernizing our nation’s nuclear regulatory processes,” said Brian McCormack, Co-founder of United Coalition for Advanced Nuclear Power.

“NIA supports Senators Chis Coons and Tim Scott’s introduction of their bill to help ensure the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) can efficiently and effectively license advanced nuclear reactors without unnecessary delay. By removing duplicative processes and procedures, specifically the requirement for Commission hearings on uncontested reactor license applications, this bill streamlines the licensing process while allowing for robust public engagement. Enacting this bill will facilitate timely progress of license applications, advancing the deployment of new nuclear technologies,” said Nuclear Innovation Alliance Executive Director Judi Greenwald.

“Mandatory hearings increase NRC Staff hours by 5-15% beyond the necessary safety and environmental reviews. Since many of these hearings are uncontested, they often involve merely rehashing already-examined topics, and as such do not improve the protection of the public or the environment. This legislation will give the NRC the flexibility it has asked for to focus resources on critical efforts while not interfering with public engagement and retaining the option for the NRC to hold a hearing when needed,” said Adam Stein, Director of Nuclear Energy and Innovation, The Breakthrough Institute.

“I applaud this Congressional initiative to increase the efficiency of new reactor licensing,” said Clay Sell, CEO of X-energy. “We need to scale the deployment of advanced reactors to contribute meaningfully to the growing demand for clean, reliable, affordable energy. To do so, the enhanced safety of advanced reactors must be valued in the approach to licensing them, while ensuring the safety of the public and environment.”