WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House Committee on Science and Technology today approved H.R. 5866, the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 2010. The bill authorizes the Department of Energy to fund advanced research and development programs on various aspects of nuclear energy. Following is a statement from Alex Flint, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president of governmental affairs.
“The nuclear energy industry thanks Chairman Bart Gordon and ranking member Ralph Hall for their leadership in gaining the Science and Technology Committee’s approval of the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act. It is gratifying that the committee, on a bipartisan basis, recognizes that federal investment in clean-energy technologies will pay immense dividends for the American people, the U.S economy and the global environment.
“It is hard to overstate the importance of this significant federal investment in pursuit of advances in innovation, safety and efficiency that will help nuclear energy technologies play an even greater role in our modern society. This legislation authorizes nearly $1.3 billion in nuclear energy research and development through fiscal year 2013 to help take state-of-the-art technologies from the laboratory and make them available for commercial application. This includes support on a cost-shared, government-industry basis for smaller reactor designs that hold great promise.
“Notably, this legislation also increases investment in fuel cycle research and development program activities to improve our ability to recycle used nuclear fuel with technologies that have enhanced non-proliferation characteristics. As the Massachusetts Institute of Technology noted in a new study released last week, there are ‘many viable technological choices’ worth studying that can help make more efficient use of this energy-rich resource.
“Today, our nation relies on nuclear energy for one-fifth of its total electricity supply, and more than 70 percent of the supply that comes from carbon-free sources of electricity. This legislation recognizes that it would be foolhardy not to ensure that nuclear energy remains a key component of a diversified clean-energy portfolio for generations to come.”