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Recently, ACEC sent letters to key House and Senate champions of the nuclear provisions in the “Fire Grants and Safety Act” thanking them for their leadership. The bill passed both the House and Senate in June and has now been sent to President Joe Biden’s desk.  

The bill sailed through the Senate as part of a larger energy package, the “Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy Act,” or ADVANCE Act, with an 88-2 vote on June 18th, just over a month after the package garnered more than 390 votes in the House. 

In its letter, ACEC wrote that the “bill will help to drive innovation for nuclear power generation in the future, enhancing the nation’s diverse and clean energy portfolio.” It will also work to “modernize our nation’s grid.” 

ACEC member firms will design and implement these future nuclear energy systems and guide clients toward solutions that provide the best outcomes for their customers. ACEC is committed to continuing to work with lawmakers on efforts to ensure an efficient, sustainable, and resilient energy system 

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), ranking member on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and a lead sponsor of the “ADVANCE Act,” noted that final passage was “months and years” in the making. In a floor speech before the vote, Capito said that she, EPW Chair Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the bill in March 2023 because they knew the U.S. had to get ahead of future increases in energy demand “with policies that encourage investment and deployment of nuclear technologies right here on our shores.” 

Additionally, Sen. Carper noted that Biden has pledged his support for the bill. 

The “ADVANCE Act” would streamline the permitting process for advanced reactors, reduce regulatory fees for companies looking to license advanced reactor technologies, and update outdated rules that limit international investment. 

It would also require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to develop a pathway to quickly license nuclear facilities at the sites of former fossil fuel facilities, including coal plants, that already have a connection to the grid. 

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July 3, 2024



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