WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, and James Webb, a Virginia Democrat, today detailed the provisions contained in the Clean Energy Act of 2009, legislation they plan to introduce this week that contains significant provisions for new nuclear energy generation. The legislation authorizes $100 billion in loan guarantee authority for carbon-free electricity sources; $100 million a year for 10 years for education, workforce development and training to ensure a supply of nuclear engineers, operators, and skilled craftsmen; $200 million a year for the next five years for Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of new reactor designs, including Generation IV or small modular reactors; and $750 million a year over 10 years for “Mini-Manhattan Projects” targeting fuel cycle research and development. Alex Flint, Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president of governmental affairs, made the following comments on the proposed legislation:
“The nuclear energy industry applauds Sens. Alexander and Webb for their recognition of the significant role that nuclear energy plays today, and must play going forward, as the nation’s largest source of carbon-free electricity production.
“With this legislation, Sens. Alexander and Webb are offering a substantive package of incentives and programs that realistically addresses the requirements necessary for our nation to achieve the significant expansion of nuclear energy that can meet rising electricity demand with a proven source of clean energy. These two senators already have seen the tremendous economic development in their own states that will be generated by re-establishing the U.S. manufacturing base for commercial nuclear technology.“The United States faces extraordinary challenges in the coming decades to meet the expected 20 percent increase in demand for electricity while significantly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The Clean Energy Act of 2009 offers specific and substantial incentives for moving the United States forward toward reliable, clean electricity generation.”