Bill Gates wrote: “I’m thrilled that senators from both sides of the aisle have come together to support advanced nuclear. This is exactly the kind of leadership our country needs to both solve the climate challenge and reassert our leadership in this important industry,” in response to the re-introduction of the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), submitted on March 27th, 2019 by a group of 15 senators led by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
NELA, a bipartisan bill that would encourage further development of advanced nuclear energy programs that would help create high-quality jobs, strengthen national security, reduce foreign energy dependence, and promote emissions-free energy, was also introduced to the House in June 2019, by Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02), Denver Riggleman (VA-05), Congressman Conor Lamb (PA-17), and Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01).
“As an engineer who operated nuclear reactors on aircraft carriers, I know that ensuring a thriving civilian nuclear industry is vital not only for our economy, but for our national security,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Nuclear energy must be part of any solution to transitioning to a clean energy future because nuclear power provides over 55% of our carbon-free energy. That’s why I’m proud to reach across the aisle and introduce this critical bipartisan bill.”
“Yesterday, a bipartisan group of leaders in the US Senate introduced the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, which establishes an ambitious plan to accelerate the development of advanced nuclear reactor technologies,” Bill Gates tweeted. “I can’t overstate how important this is,” he said.
The draft bill was formally introduced to the Senate by Murkowski on behalf of herself and Senators Cory Booker, James Risch, Joe Manchin, Mike Crapo, Lamar Alexander, Sheldon Whitehouse, Cory Gardner, Chris Coons, Dan Sullivan, Tammy Duckworth, Lindsay Graham, Michael Bennet, Shelley Moore Capito, and Rob Portman. It directs the US Secretary of Energy “to establish advanced nuclear goals, provide for a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source, make available high-assay, low-enriched uranium for research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts, and for other purposes”.
Read SightlineU308’s “Bill Gates ‘thrilled’ by legislative boost for nuclear” for more on Gate’s response and read here for more about the Nuclear Energy Innovation Modernization Act.