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This week, the Senate passed a bipartisan nuclear energy package including the Advanced Nuclear Reactor Prize Act introduced by Representative John R. Curtis (R-UT). The bill authorizes the Secretary of Energy to award grants to cover fees assessed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


“I am pleased that my legislation is headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Rep. Curtis. “The costs and red tape associated with our permitting process are proving to be duplicative and ineffective. We need innovation in the nuclear space to ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy in our future and I am stepping up to ensure that happens.”


The Advanced Nuclear Reactor Prize Act would authorize the Secretary of Energy to make targeted awards to cover fees assessed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the first technologies that are licensed and made operational in five unique categories. The prizes will incentivize innovation and quality applications, ultimately making it more affordable for first of a kind technology to get through the licensing process.




In October 2023, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee unanimously advanced the bill. Curtis gave remarks during the hearing, available below. The bill passed the full Energy & Commerce committee in December 2023.


The expansion of nuclear energy in the United States would support Utah’s uranium industry, importantly, the White Mesa Mill in San Juan County which is the only conventional uranium mill operation in the United States. Russia has been a significant supplier of uranium to the United States, using questionable labor and environmental practices. In May 2024, Congress voted to ban the import of Russian uranium and unlocked $2.7 billion of previously authorized funding for expanding the domestic production of nuclear fuel. 


This will be Curtis’ 20th bill signed into law. His other legislation ranges in diverse topics such as better managing public lands, combatting human trafficking, reducing burdensome regulations on small businesses, and more.


For bill text, click here.