U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), a member of the House Rules Committee and Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, introduced the American Nuclear Leadership Commission Act last week to promote U.S. energy leadership.
“Consumers are seeking energy sources with lower emissions, and nuclear power must be part of that mix. Right now, America’s leadership in civilian nuclear power is being challenged by Russia and China who want to corner the market,” Burgess said in a statement. “This legislation will create a bipartisan commission to examine the future of the civilian nuclear power industry in the United States and investigate the challenges ahead. I believe this commission will shine a spotlight on those challenges and provide the answers necessary to ensure our nation’s continued leadership in nuclear energy.”
The legislation creates a bipartisan commission within the Department of Energy to study the status of the civilian nuclear power industry today and in the future, according to a news release from Burgess’ office. The bill directs the commission to explore:
- How a nuclear reactor is brought from development to commercialization
- Potential market opportunities for advanced reactors
- The problems of the nuclear fuel cycle from beginning to end
- The industrial capacity of the US to design and build nuclear reactors
- The competitiveness of US nuclear reactors in export markets
- How advanced reactor designed may be able to reduce the cost of nuclear power
- The environmental benefits of civilian nuclear power
- What regulations and laws exist that limit the expansion of civilian nuclear power
This commission will be chaired by the DOE Secretary, requires evenly split party membership, and would last up to two years. Once the commission completes its study, it will provide a report to Congress on its findings and provide policy recommendations to address obstacles to America’s nuclear leadership in the 21st Century.