Congress has Passed A bill aims to give nuclear energy a boost in the United States. The Accelerated Deployment of Advanced Versatile Nuclear Energy (ADVANCE) Act now awaits President Joe Biden’s signature to become law. The Senate approved the bill on Tuesday, after the House of Representatives Passed A similar bill was introduced in February.

The bill is supposed to accelerate the development of next-generation nuclear reactors and put the United States in a leadership position in the international market, while also helping older reactors survive. Nuclear power remains a controversial solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, but it has gained bipartisan support in recent years.

Nuclear power remains a controversial solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change

The ADVANCE Act directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to streamline the approval process for the international export of U.S. nuclear energy technology and reduce regulatory costs for companies attempting to license advanced nuclear reactors. It creates incentives to successfully deploy these technologies, and tasks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with creating a “timely” path to licensing small reactors at brownfields and former fossil fuel generation sites. It also seeks to speed up the review of licenses for new reactors at existing nuclear sites and simplify the environmental review process.

This legislation has already sparked strong reactions from environmental groups that support or oppose nuclear power. On the one hand, nuclear power is seen as a way to supplement volatile renewable energy sources such as solar and wind with a stable source of energy that does not generate carbon dioxide emissions that warm the planet.

“As we continue to decarbonize our nation’s energy system and address growing energy demand, we need all available options and nuclear power will play an important role in making sure we can meet these challenges,” said Evan Chapman, director of U.S. federal policy at Clean. The Air Task Force said in an email statement.

“Make no mistake: This is not about making the reactor licensing process more efficient, but rather about weakening oversight of safety and security across the board, which is a long-term goal of the industry,” Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an article. statement About the ADVANCE Act this week before its passage.

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