[USC02] 42 USC 16271: Nuclear energy
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42 USC 16271: Nuclear energy Text contains those laws in effect on October 24, 2020

§16271. Nuclear energy

(a) Mission

(1) In general

The Secretary shall carry out programs of civilian nuclear research, development, demonstration, and commercial application, including activities under this part.

(2) Considerations

The programs carried out under paragraph (1) shall take into consideration the following objectives:

(A) Providing research infrastructure to promote scientific progress and enable users from academia, the National Laboratories, and the private sector to make scientific discoveries relevant for nuclear, chemical, and materials science engineering.

(B) Maintaining nuclear energy research and development programs at the National Laboratories and institutions of higher education, including infrastructure at the National Laboratories and institutions of higher education.

(C) Providing the technical means to reduce the likelihood of nuclear proliferation.

(D) Increasing confidence margins for public safety of nuclear energy systems.

(E) Reducing the environmental impact of activities relating to nuclear energy.

(F) Supporting technology transfer from the National Laboratories to the private sector.

(G) Enabling the private sector to partner with the National Laboratories to demonstrate novel reactor concepts for the purpose of resolving technical uncertainty associated with the objectives described in subparagraphs (A) through (F).

(b) Definitions

In this part:

(1) Advanced nuclear reactor

The term "advanced nuclear reactor" means-

(A) a nuclear fission reactor with significant improvements over the most recent generation of nuclear fission reactors, which may include-

(i) inherent safety features;

(ii) lower waste yields;

(iii) greater fuel utilization;

(iv) superior reliability;

(v) resistance to proliferation;

(vi) increased thermal efficiency; and

(vii) the ability to integrate into electric and nonelectric applications; or

(B) a nuclear fusion reactor.

(2) Commission

The term "Commission" means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(3) Fast neutron

The term "fast neutron" means a neutron with kinetic energy above 100 kiloelectron volts.

(4) National Laboratory

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term "National Laboratory" has the meaning given the term in section 15801 of this title.

(B) Limitation

With respect to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Sandia National Laboratories, the term "National Laboratory" means only the civilian activities of the laboratory.

(5) Neutron flux

The term "neutron flux" means the intensity of neutron radiation measured as a rate of flow of neutrons applied over an area.

(6) Neutron source

The term "neutron source" means a research machine that provides neutron irradiation services for-

(A) research on materials sciences and nuclear physics; and

(B) testing of advanced materials, nuclear fuels, and other related components for reactor systems.

( Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §951, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 884 ; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(a), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3154 .)


2018-Pub. L. 115–248 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to civilian nuclear energy research programs and authorizations of appropriations to carry out such programs.