Congress has nuclear issues on agenda in coming days

It should be a busy period for congressional panels tracking nuclear energy-related issues in the next few days with three hearings scheduled on atomic power.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. EDT on April 20 regarding the proposed FY 2017 budget for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The four current members of the commission, including NRC Chairman Stephen Burns are scheduled to appear before the panel.

NRC requests total budget authority of $982.3m for FY 2017, including $12.1m for the Office of Inspector General. The Commission continues to examine long-term staffing and budgetary needs through Project Aim 2020.

On a longer-term issue, another congressional panel will look at the promise of nuclear fusion.

The House Committee on Science, Space & Technology’s Energy Subcommittee will hear an overview of fusion energy on April 20 at 10 a.m. EDT.

Witnesses from the ITER Organization, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory are scheduled to testify before the committee.

The panel has been looking at a number of bills including H.R. 4084, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, which is supported by TerraPower.

Finally, on Thursday April 21, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing entitled, “Enabling Advanced Reactors and a Legislative Hearing on S.2795, “the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act.”

The hearing will start at 9:45 a.m. EDT. Witnesses representing NRC, an NRC Advanced Reactor Task Force, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, the Union of Concerned Scientists and General Atomics will all testify.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.