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US Congress passes bill to help advanced nuclear power

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Though economics might not favor nuclear power in the US, policy makers do.

Last week, the House passed a bipartisan bill that originated in the Senate called the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (S. 97), which will allow the private sector to partner with US National Laboratories to vet advanced nuclear technologies. The bill also directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to lay the ground work for establishing “a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source.”

The Senate also introduced a second bill called the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (S. 3422) last Thursday, which would direct the DOE actually establish that fast neutron reactor. That bill also directs the DOE to “make available high-assay, low-enriched uranium” for research purposes. The Nuclear Energy Leadership Act has not yet made it past a Senate vote.

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