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S.2461 and NextGen Nuclear Energy Photo Courtesy: Elliott P. on Flickr

S.2461 and NextGen Nuclear Energy

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The Senate will consider an amendment to the Senate energy bill, offered by Senator Crapo of Idaho, on advanced nuclear research. The Crapo amendment consists of the text of his recently introduced bill S.2461, the “Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act,” which

“enable[s] civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions.”

The amendment offers an opportunity to strengthen the public-private partnership among nuclear scientists and will have substantial implications on nuclear fission and fusion research, prioritizing research and development to benefit private sector investment into advanced nuclear energy tech programs. It also provides a research infrastructure to “promote scientific progress,” accelerating the development of safer and more efficient reactor designs.

Scientists around the world are working to develop next-generation nuclear energy including fusion power. ASP has written extensively on the potential of fusion energy and its ability to “provide low cost, carbon-free and nuclear proliferation-free energy to all nations,” and have supported the House companion amendment to S.2461. Now it is the time to embolden the pursuit of nuclear fission and fusion energy. The Senate should pass this bipartisan bill and once more exhibit the progress of American innovation.

*Update – the amendment was included in the legislation by a vote of 87-4, but prospects for passage of the overall bill are uncertain.

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