Five Steps Toward an American Nuclear Energy Renaissance

Current federal efforts to replace fossil fuel electricity generation with wind and solar are making the Nation’s grid dangerously unreliable. Nuclear power can help to stabilize the grid, but the industry remains restrained by a range of outdated federal regulations. The America First Policy Institute recently published a research report titled Five Steps Toward an American Nuclear Renaissance. To realize the potential of nuclear power and to increase American energy abundance, Congress should:

STEP ONE: Enact comprehensive permitting reform.

  • Comprehensive permitting reform would help to unlock the domestic supply of nuclear fuel—particularly at the stages in the fuel supply chain when raw uranium is extracted and enriched.

STEP TWO: Update nuclear reactor licensing procedures to reflect the latest scientific knowledge.

  • Updating domestic licensing rules and mandating that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) use risk-informed and performance-based techniques would fortify opportunities for innovation and cost reduction.

STEP THREE: Lower regulatory fees for start-up nuclear companies.

  • Reforming fees for nuclear start-ups in line with comparable industries, such as oil and gas pipeline builders, would provide financial relief to companies seeking to enter the nuclear power industry.

STEP FOUR: Update the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s mandate.

  • Without expanding the agency’s budget, Congress can reiterate its original, pro-development intent for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and also create a public and private engagement office in support of nuclear expansion.

STEP FIVE: Streamline nuclear export regulations for countries with mutual defense treaties with the U.S. or formally designated as major American allies.

  • Cutting outdated red tape around nuclear exports and harmonizing American foreign policy and nuclear security would dramatically expand the number of potential markets for American advanced nuclear innovators.

To read the full report, visit:

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