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Bipartisan Legislation Moves Trump Nuclear Program Forward

Nov. 23, 2020 (EIRNS)—Four Senators have put aside their differences over the elections and introduced the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA) of 2020. Based on Trump’s White House Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s report of April this year, the legislation more generally seeks to implement the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), which President Donald Trump signed into law in January 2019.

Submitted Nov. 17 by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Cory Booker (D-NJ)—the same four Senators who introduced the successful NEIMA—the bill gives a big boost to advanced nuclear designs, streamlining regulation, even authorizing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to offer a cash prize to the first successful licensee!

Significantly, the bill seeks to protect America’s existing nuclear power fleet from destruction from subsidized solar and wind competition, authorizing the NRC to create a “credit fund” accessible for operators of threatened plants. As noted in the bill, since 2013, eleven plants have been forced to shut down prior to reaching their design lifespan, and another eight are threatened in the next five years.

The bill (so far without a number) also throws a bone to the neo-con types, allowing the NRC to reject imports from Russia and China (explicitly named), based on “national security” concerns.

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