Washington, D.C. – Today the Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing to examine H.R. 4084, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) along with Full Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber: “This legislation is of critical importance. We have to maintain our R&D capabilities to develop cutting edge nuclear technology here in America or in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be importing reactors from overseas. Furthermore, we cannot afford to lose engineering and manufacturing jobs in the nuclear sector when we have the best talent in the world right now. America’s export economy is a key to our global strength and this bill will provide a long term plan to ensure that we do not lose our talent.”

Chairman Lamar Smith: “This legislation enables our talented engineers in the private sector, academia, and at the national labs to develop the next generation of nuclear technology here in the United States. It produces bipartisan long term R&D investments that will help spur American competitiveness and keep us on the forefront of nuclear energy technology.”

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson: “I am very pleased to co-sponsor the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, which will help accelerate the development of advanced nuclear energy technologies that are safer, less expensive, more efficient, and produce less waste than the current generation of nuclear reactors. Nuclear power currently plays a pivotal role in providing our country with reliable energy.”

Witnesses, including Dr. Dale Klein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Texas, today testified to the legislation’s importance.

Dr. Dale Klein:  “H.R. 4084 is an important first step toward aligning federal nuclear policies with today's realities, and if enacted, I believe would create a more collaborative relationship between government and private sector to advance nuclear science and promote innovation.

“It is my belief, and sincere hope, that this legislation will provide the Congress and the Administration a common ground to rebuild our national nuclear science and technology infrastructure and reinvigorate the collaborative relationship between government and private sector that drives innovation.”

The following witnesses testified today:

Mr. John Kotek, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
Dr. Dale Klein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Texas
Mr. Ray Rothrock, Partner Emeritus, Venrock