United States – On Tuesday, the U. S. Senate approved a bill that included fast-tracking processes like permitting and forming new incentives for advanced nuclear reactor technologies as a measure of enhancing nuclear energy capacity.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties support the proposition to expand nuclear power since Democrats view it as an essential component of transitioning the power sector to curb Climate change impacts, while for the Republicans, it’s a means of achieving reliable electricity generation and job creation agenda, as reported by Reuters.

Fast-Tracking Nuclear Technology

This bill has already passed through the House of Representatives and subsequently goes to President Joe Biden to sign it into law. It was approved in the Senate by 88-2 votes.

“In a major victory for our climate and American energy security, the U.S. Senate has passed the ADVANCE Act with overwhelming, bipartisan support,” according to Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat and the Head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

“Today, we sent the ADVANCE Act to the president’s desk because Congress worked together to recognize the importance of nuclear energy to America’s future and got the job done,” said Republican Shelley Moore Capito, one of the ranking member of the committee.

Among others, the bill would reduce the regulatory expenses on the side of any company that aims at being issued licenses for new models of advanced nuclear reactors, would offer a prize to those who would successfully implement the new next generation of nuclear reactors, and would hasten the licensing of nuclear facilities in designated sites.

Key Provisions of the Bill

The bill might be useful for such businesses as TerraPower, backed by Bill Gates, which is attempting to construct a USD 4 billion Natrium reactor in the state of Wyoming in the territory of an old coal plant but fails to obtain a critical permit.

ASA has been joined by non-proliferation groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, in warning against measures such as those of the most recent energy bill that ease licensing for highly enriched uranium employing high-tech nuclear reactors, as reported by Reuters.

Challenges in the Nuclear Industry

As stated above, over the decades, nuclear advancement in the U. S. has been an issue due to the factors such as rising costs, bureaucratic procedures, licensing of advanced nuclear technologies, and the continuously expensive and difficult advanced nuclear technologies and the difficulties that arise in financing and construction of those technologies.