The Advanced Nuclear Deployment Act would facilitate more efficient licensing reviews by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and enable long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) to allow the federal government to procure round-the-clock clean electricity and accelerate the deployment of nuclear technologies.
The Advanced Nuclear Deployment Act would make changes to the NRC’s review process to allow more efficient and effective licensing reviews to accelerate the deployment of new nuclear technologies. In addition, the Act considers barriers to license microreactors, which can be 1000 times smaller than existing nuclear plants, and creates a process to enable the rapid deployment of proven nuclear technologies on sites that have been previously vetted for nuclear energy. Finally, the Act provides a pathway to support early movers through long-term power purchase agreements. By embracing round-the-clock clean electricity, the federal government can send a powerful market signal that will drive deployment of new clean energy resources. All of these provisions will serve as a catalyst for investment, unlocking capital and creating tens of thousands of new American jobs across the clean energy sector, as well as associated U.S. manufacturing supply chains. Finally, this bill is a companion to the Senate’s American Nuclear Infrastructure Act.
Today there are dozens of companies pursuing the next generation of nuclear reactor designs. The Act, through multiple avenues, removes uncertainty for first mover nuclear companies and, in the long term, for companies looking to rapidly deploy additional reactors. Enabling these companies to partner with the Department of Energy (DOE) to actually build and demonstrate their designs is an important step towards commercialization. Similarly, allowing the DOE and federal government to enter into long-term power purchase agreements supports federal government decarbonization while ensuring reliable, cost competitive electricity. Most importantly, in order to rapidly scale nuclear technology to support decarbonization, accelerating the NRC’s review process for proven technologies can remove uncertainty regarding deployment timelines and costs.
The Advanced Nuclear Deployment Act makes a number of changes and creates new processes that can allow the rapid deployment of new nuclear reactors.
- Allows the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to preemptively review Department of Energy sites to accelerate the demonstration of new designs.
- Directs the NRC to consider any barriers to licensing microreactors.
- Creates a process to expedite subsequent new builds of a previously built reactor design on sites that already have an existing reactor.
- Allows federal power purchase agreements to contract for up to 40 years in duration.
- Creates a pilot program for the federal government to purchase power from reactors to get the first models planned and financed.
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)