New Nuclear

Legal and Policy Advancements for Advanced Reactors

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President Biden ran on an energy and environmental platform calling for a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In pursuit of this clean energy plan, he also called for a modernized energy infrastructure that supports advanced nuclear commercialization. Advanced nuclear technology is capable of generating power with net-zero emissions and

The year 2020 is surely to be remembered for the pandemic that swept the globe and affected the lives of millions of people and touched practically every industry sector. Despite the hardships faced, the nuclear industry has thrived with its promise of coupling American innovation and a zero-carbon energy solution. This blog post will highlight

On December 7, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a Proposed Evaluation Policy Statement (the “Proposed Policy Statement”) that seeks public comment regarding the NRC’s use of evidence for many non-adjudicatory agency actions such as licensing, oversight, rulemaking, and others.
The Proposed Policy Statement is driven by a statutory mandate from the 2018 Foundations for

Today U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA) 2020.  The provisions of ANIA are intended to help ensure that the U.S. is competitive with countries like Russia and China on nuclear technology advancement and project development abroad. Among other

While we often speak of nuclear power in terms of electricity production for our homes and businesses, it also has a number of other uses, including nuclear power and propulsion for space and maritime use, and there are a number of recent developments here.
Space
On October 20, 2020, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and

The NRC staff is moving forward with development of the 10 CFR Part 53 rulemaking, which will establish a new framework for licensing and regulating advanced nuclear reactors (and potentially also extending to fusion systems).  The agency is taking a novel approach to rule development on an expedited schedule, including hosting frequent public meetings and

On September 21, 2020, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to develop and codify a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for the construction and operation of advanced nuclear reactors through a technology-neutral, plant parameter envelope (PPE) approach.  GEISs have the potential to materially reduce the licensing burden on NRC advanced reactor applicants, given that environmental

Draft legislation American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020 set to provide further support for advanced reactors
On July 29th, Senator Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a draft bill, the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020 (ANIA), which, aims to re-establish U.S. international competitiveness and global leadership in nuclear power.  Among other things, the draft bill would—

  • Empower

On July 23, 2020, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DCF) announced its intention to open the door to funding opportunities for nuclear projects abroad.
In a summary of its decision following a voluntary 30-day comment period, DCF announced that it has enabled “its full suite of finance products to support all civil nuclear projects

Advanced nuclear reactors promising smaller, simpler, and safer nuclear energy are moving closer and closer to commercial reality.  As we recently blogged, Oklo Inc., a California-based company, recently submitted the nation’s first application to construct and operate a non-light water advanced reactor.  In response to this trend, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is exploring

The United States has been struggling to compete with its peers in securing nuclear power plant construction projects around the world.  One of the factors impacting U.S. competitiveness is that many foreign countries such as Russia and China can obtain government financing to support foreign projects—whereas U.S. vendors cannot.  Under a recent proposal, this imbalance