The ADVANCE Act, included in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the Senate, was passed by the Senate in an 86-11 bipartisan vote. The NDAA now must be reconciled with the version narrowly passed by the House on July 14th, which contains several controversial GOP amendments. Previously, the ADVANCE Act was approved by a bipartisan 16-3 vote of the Environment and Public Works Committee in May.
Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.), Tom Carper (D., Del.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) were the bipartisan group of sponsors who introduced the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act back in April of this year. Its purpose is to support the preservation, development, and deployment of nuclear energy technologies in the United States.
The legislation was widely welcomed by experts, including the respected Clean Air Task Force, as an effort to strengthen the U.S. nuclear energy sector by creating a supportive policy environment where nuclear energy can expedite the clean energy transition and promote global energy security.
Included in the bill are much needed measures that enhance processes at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, especially the review and approvals of next-gen nuclear reactors, improve the prospects for coal to nuclear projects, and streamline civil nuclear exports, all which will help manage climate change and provide reliable, 24/7, carbon-free energy.
In the words of Shelley Moore Capito, the passage of the ADVANCE Act brings us “one step closer to reestablishing America’s preeminence as the global leader in nuclear energy in the 21st century. Not only does our legislation strengthen our national and energy security, it expands a clean, reliable power source that should remain a major part of our future energy mix. The ADVANCE Act achieves these shared goals by making the nuclear licensing process more affordable, predictable, and efficient; creating pathways to repurpose former industrial sites for nuclear reactors in the future; and providing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission the resources needed to help fulfill its mission.”
“The complexity of achieving economy-wide decarbonization requires a diverse set of solutions, and nuclear energy has an important role to play,” said Evan Chapman, U.S. Federal Policy Director at Clean Air Task Force. “The bipartisan ADVANCE Act would build on action taken through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to preserve and expand the United States’ nuclear energy capacity. Doing so would help meet growing energy demand while moving the U.S. closer to achieving its climate goals. It’s an exciting step forward and we stand ready to work with Congress to make this legislation as strong as possible.”
See Nuclear Newswire’s “Senate okays defense bill with measure boosting U.S. nuclear sector, to learn more about the ADVANCE Act. Also see the Clean Air Task Force’s news about the introduction of the ADVANCE Act from April 5, 2023.