Atomic Energy Advancement Act

H.R. 6544

The Atomic Energy Advancement Act combines 11 House bills, which aim to advance the benefits of nuclear energy by enabling efficient, timely and predictable licensing, regulation and deployment of nuclear energy technologies. This Act is similar to the Senate ADVANCE Act and is an essential step in modernizing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) regulatory processes and supporting the deployment of new nuclear energy.


The Atomic Energy Advancement Act will address various issues faced by the nuclear energy industry, including but not limited to NRC licensing efficiency and predictability, siting and environmental impacts, and international cooperation and leadership.


The second half of 2023 saw several advancements in the nuclear energy industry. In the spring, Vogtle Unit 3 in Georgia became the first new reactor design to come online in the U.S. in almost thirty years. While an important milestone for the nuclear energy industry, cost and schedule challenges highlighted the importance of streamlined review processes and construction timeline certainty. To rapidly scale nuclear technology to support decarbonization, industry must have confidence in the NRC’s ability to license and oversee hundreds of new reactors efficiently. The Atomic Energy Advancement Act aims to enhance the NRC’s ability to license nuclear energy technologies in a timely manner, level the playing field for nuclear energy deployments and enable effective international cooperation.


The Atomic Energy Advancement Act is a comprehensive bill that includes common-sense improvements to modernize the existing, inefficient regulatory framework and increase certainty around new nuclear energy deployments. The bill:
  • Streamlines the subsequent combined license process for new nuclear reactors on or adjacent to existing nuclear sites, including a 25-month shot clock for issuing the license.
  • Creates a pilot program that would enable nuclear power purchase agreements to extend beyond 10 years, spurring new deployment and providing secure and reliable energy for critical government infrastructure.
  • Directs the Secretary of Energy to update export requirements, accelerating the deployment of U.S. technologies abroad.
  • Extends the expiration of the Price-Anderson Act from 2025 to 2065 to retain a framework for ensuring liability and to protect the public.
  • Allows the NRC to determine, on a case-specific basis, whether an environmental assessment (as opposed to an environmental impact statement) is appropriate for a particular application.
  • Requires that the NRC consider opportunities to include the inherent safety features, design simplicity, and physical size when licensing microreactors.


Rep. Duncan (R-SC), Rep. DeGette (D-CO)


H.R. 6544


Printable summary of H.R. 6544