Gallagher Introduces the NERD Act

September 17, 2020
Press Release

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today introduced the Nuclear Energy Reactor Demonstration (NERD) Act, a bill that would strengthen U.S. nuclear energy competitiveness by requiring the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish advanced nuclear reactor research and development goals. The NERD Act directs the DOE Secretary to work with private sector partners to complete at least 2 advanced reactor demonstration projects. Click HERE for bill text.

"A clean energy future will require nuclear energy to be reliable, affordable, and accessible to the private and public sectors. The first step in getting there is setting the right goals and bringing together the necessary stakeholders to expand our nuclear capacity," said Rep. Gallagher. "I'm proud to introduce the NERD Act, and will continue working to ensure the United States stays competitive across all energy sectors."

"Future nuclear reactors will need to be smaller, cheaper, flexible and more widely deployed. Modernizing our nuclear sector is vital to ensuring that our electric grid has plenty of zero-carbon flexible power. Rep. Gallagher's bill will strengthen the research and development goals of nuclear energy by prioritizing demonstrations and developing advanced nuclear fuel which are both major steps to get the technology to commercialization," said Jay Faison, Founder and CEO at ClearPath.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Direct the DOE Secretary to advance the research and development of domestic, advanced, affordable, and clean energy through completing at least 2 advanced reactor demonstration projects by December 31, 2025,
  • Establish a program to create at least 2 and no more than 5 operational advanced nuclear reactor designs by December 31, 2035,
  • Call on DOE to work with private sector partners to identify demonstration sites, and
  • Work towards developing technologies that manage, reduce, or reuse nuclear waste.

Background:

Rep. Gallagher has consistently fought to strengthen U.S. nuclear energy capabilities as a member of Congress. In addition to supporting funding for DOE energy storage research programs, he is a cosponsor of the BEST Act and supports continued funding for the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E).

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