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House Energy and Commerce Committee Gathers Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners

House Energy and Commerce Committee Gathers Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners

The House Energy & Commerce Committee recently held a hearing on “Oversight of NRC: Ensuring Efficient and Predictable Nuclear Safety Regulation for a Prosperous America.” The hearing included testimony from all five of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Senate-confirmed leaders and examined the role of the NRC in regulating and licensing commercial power plants, advanced nuclear technologies, and other uses of nuclear materials. The hearing also examined NRC reform legislation and the agency’s fiscal year 2024 budget request, which totals $1 billion, an increase of $63.2 million or approximately 6.7 percent compared to the FY 2023 enacted budget.    

Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chairman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) opened the hearing, noting “We have a bipartisan goal on this committee of advancing durable nuclear policy that will expand nuclear energy and its many benefits for the nation. We can all agree here on the numerous benefits of maintaining a robust U.S. nuclear industry. The current nuclear fleet consists of 94 reactors, with Vogtle Unit 3 coming online just last month. This was the first nuclear unit built in the United States in more than three decades. This fact is reflective of the fact our current licensing structure is not set up to encourage large-scale growth or investment of large-scale nuclear projects.”
In April, a bipartisan group of committee leaders sent letters to nuclear energy stakeholders requesting information on the NRC’s regulatory efforts to ensure safe, efficient, predictable regulation for the nuclear industry in the United States. Congress passed the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act of 2018, or NEIMA, which pressed NRC to develop a new regulatory framework to license advanced reactors. Commissioners noted progress on NEIMA implementation, including activities related to Vogtle, revised environmental review processes for advanced reactors, and activities to support fusion energy development. 
For an archived webcast of the hearing and full witness information, visit here.

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