Senate OKs bill to facilitate public-private nuclear technology development

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The U.S. Senate recently passed the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act -- an amendment to a larger energy bill -- that aims to facilitate partnerships between private companies and universities, and federal laboratories to help develop advanced nuclear technology.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

"This vote demonstrates the commitment in the Senate to a long-term future for nuclear power production and research opportunities,” Crapo said.

Crapo's Democratic counterpart feels the same way.

“I’m grateful to Senator Crapo and our Republican and Democratic colleagues for taking this step to bring advanced nuclear technologies online to help move us away from the carbon-intensive energy driving global climate change and potentially provide a solution to the management of hazardous nuclear waste," Whitehouse said.

Further down the road, several senators said that any public-private partnerships that spring from this legislation are likely to help facilitate low-carbon energy generation nationwide.

The Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act passed 87-4 and is now attached to the larger Energy Policy Modernization Act, currently under debate in the Senate.