(Washington, DC) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Weber introduced legislation today to improve nuclear energy research.
H.R. 6796, The Nuclear Energy for the Future Act, will help make nuclear energy even safer, more efficient, and more affordable through the development of advanced technologies.
“Nuclear energy is clean, safe, and reliable. Going forward it must be a significant component of America’s energy profile, and to make that happen we need to stay ahead of the technological curve,” Weber said. “My bill gives the Department of Energy the resources and infrastructure it needs to improve performance, lower waste, and reduce reactor sizes, among other things. It provides necessary support for the delivery of the Versatile Test Reactor which is crucial for advanced nuclear energy research. And, importantly, it builds on the success of public-private partnerships so that the most innovative minds have access to the best tools to drive nuclear energy breakthroughs.”
The Nuclear Energy for the Future Act builds on the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA), a bipartisan bill introduced by Weber and signed into law in 2018 to advance American leadership in nuclear technology. It provides full authorization for the Versatile Reactor-Based Fast Neutron Source (VNS), which is also referred to as the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR).
The bill allows the Department of Energy to build out key infrastructure necessary for the cutting-edge research required for advanced nuclear energy technologies. It also supports public-private partnerships to allow for coordination and resource sharing among the nation’s top nuclear energy experts. Finally, it improves coordination of the Department of Energy’s high-performance computing capabilities to accelerate nuclear energy research.