House panel examines Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act

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The House Science, Space and Technology Committee's Energy Subcommittee held a hearing late last week to examine the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (H.R. 4084).

The bipartisan bill establishes long-term investments to develop nuclear technology, allowing private-sector and academic researchers to work on research and development in the U.S.

The bill was introduced by Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-TX), Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Full Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

“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,” Weber said. “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.”

Witnesses at the hearing included acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy John Kotek, Venrock partner emeritus Ray Rothrock and Dale Klein, associate  vice chancellor for research at the University of Texas.

“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,” Klein said.

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U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (TX-21)

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