WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congresswoman Elaine Luria and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4) today introduced legislation aimed at bringing advanced nuclear technologies to market while promoting American energy independence. They were joined by Congressmen Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) and Scott Peters (D-CA-52).
The Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act establishes an up to 40-year-long nuclear power purchase agreement program, directing the Secretary of Energy to enter into one or more agreements to purchase nuclear power from reactors licensed after January 2020. It also requires the Secretary of Energy to enter into one national security-related nuclear power purchase agreement prior to 2026 to provide reliable and resilient power in remote off-grid and emergency scenarios.
“Having operated nuclear reactors on aircraft carriers, I know nuclear energy has immense potential as a clean and safe energy source,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “Almost one-third of the Commonwealth’s energy is derived from nuclear power and my goal is to continue to make Virginia a national leader in driving American energy independence. The Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act will direct the federal government to purchase power from advanced nuclear reactors. This will incentivize innovation in the nuclear sector and spark more widespread adoption of nuclear power. As we strive to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions, nuclear energy must be part of the solution.”
“Nuclear technologies are a vital part of our nation’s energy portfolio, and we must continue to create a strong pathway forward for nuclear research and technologies,” said Congressman Dan Newhouse. This legislation would bring the federal government and industry together and encourage continued innovation to bolster our national security, provide reliable and resilient power in remote off-grid and emergency scenarios, and create jobs in communities like ours in Central Washington.”
“Next generation cleaner, safer nuclear power could play a critical role in America’s clean energy future,” said Congressman Scott Peters. “This bill supports private and public sectors in their work to bring advanced nuclear technologies to market and promotes safe, reliable, zero-carbon electricity to strengthen our national security and reduce emissions that cause our climate crisis.”
“Advanced nuclear technologies represent an opportunity for America to regain its status as the world leader in nuclear energy,” said Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. “By stimulating market demand and leveraging our country’s strength in innovation, the Nuclear Power Purchase Agreement Act will create an innovation ecosystem that drives the development of these breakthrough technologies.”
The Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Clear Path, U.S. Nuclear Industry Council, American Nuclear Society, Nuclear Energy Institute, NuScale Power, and Nuclear Innovation Alliance.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds Representatives Luria, Newhouse, Peters and Gonzalez for introduction of the bipartisan Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) Act,” said Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute. “This legislation recognizes the importance of reliable and resilient nuclear power to our national security by directing the federal government to enter into long-term power purchase agreements for newly commercialized advanced reactor technologies. These flexible, load-following reactor designs are not only well-suited to pairing with renewable energy but also hold great promise for us in specialized national security applications. Establishing PPAs for these applications will provide an important market signal to help restore U.S. global leadership on nuclear energy and ensure it plays a prominent role in our clean energy future.”
Congresswoman Luria is a leading advocate of nuclear energy in Congress. Last year, key provisions of her Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA) became law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Her bill encourages further development of advanced nuclear energy programs to create well-paying jobs, strengthen national security, and promote emissions-free energy. In June, Congresswoman Luria cosponsored the Twenty First Century Nuclear Security Act, also with Rep. Gonzalez, to assess the risk to U.S. national security posed by Russian and Chinese dominance in the global nuclear energy market and identify opportunities for the U.S. to regain global leadership.