In a letter to the Senate, SMACNA expressed its support for S. 4897, The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020. Introduced by Senators Barrasso joined by Senators Whitehouse, Booker, Crapo, and Moore-Capito as original cosponsors. S. 4897 passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this week as amended with overwhelming support by a 16-5 demonstrating its strong bipartisan support.
SMACNA appreciates the leadership given national nuclear energy policy over many years by Senators Barrasso and Whitehouse, most recently represented by S. 512, passed in the last Congress, and S. 4897 before the Senate this year. This important legislation builds on Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (S. 512) passed in the 115th Congress to expand nuclear energy to advance nuclear technologies. S. 4897 would also modernize environmental permitting requirements to address the needs of new technologies. The bill identifies regulatory barriers that limit the safe deployment of new nuclear technologies. These new technologies are capable of radically reducing carbon emissions.
In the letter, SMACNA expressed its belief that it is time to boost safety measures while seeking to remove additional regulatory roadblocks for the next generation of nuclear reactors and preserve America's existing nuclear power plants by authorizing temporary, targeted financial credits to reactors at risk for closing. It would also help develop advanced fuels needed to high efficiency edge reactors and work to reduce construction costs to build advanced nuclear reactors. Importantly, the legislation would reauthorize critical training programs to bolster our skilled and specialized nuclear work force numbers. SMACNA firms have decades of experience constructing nuclear-powered energy facilities and have special enthusiasm for many financing and training provisions in The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act.