The Nuclear Licensing Efficiency Act would streamline regulatory reviews to support the deployment of new nuclear technologies.
The Nuclear Licensing Efficiency Act would streamline the regulatory review process by directing the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to set specific review timelines and incorporate previously performed environmental reviews when available. In addition, the bill directs the NRC to consider updates to hearings and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) to increase efficiency while still ensuring public participation and safety.
Nuclear power produces about half of the clean electricity in the United States, and can play a key role in decarbonization. However, inefficiencies in the licensing process provide uncertainty to both companies designing these new technologies, and companies that want to use the reliable, carbon-free energy that nuclear power can provide. Building upon the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) and Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy (NUKE) Act, which were both focused on regulatory modernization and efficiency, this bill directs the NRC to prioritize its resources to meet clear licensing milestones and consider improvements in the licensing process so it is able to meet its safety mission while providing certainty in for review timelines.
The Nuclear Licensing Efficiency Act directs and prioritizes NRC resources and provides an opportunity for the NRC to incorporate best project management practices to meet its diverse and essential oversight mission.
- Creates specific timelines and milestones for the environmental and technical reviews of new applications.
- Directs the NRC to supplement and incorporate previously performed Early Site Permit environmental reviews for the actual license application at the site that holds the Early Site Permit.
- Directs the NRC to use historical environmental review information for new applications at sites that already have an existing nuclear facility.
- Enacts a rulemaking to incorporate these previously stated efficiencies.
- Commences a study on the need for having uncontested hearings.
- Allows the Commission to request the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards to review an application, and provides a specific timeline for the ACRS to complete its review.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)