[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER IX, Part E: Nuclear Energy
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER IX, Part E: Nuclear Energy
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 149—NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY AND PROGRAMSSUBCHAPTER IX—RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Part E—Nuclear Energy

§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, including a prototype plant (as defined in sections 50.2 and 52.1 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations)), with significant improvements compared to reactors operating on December 27, 2020, including improvements such as—

(i) additional inherent safety features;

(ii) lower waste yields;

(iii) improved fuel and material performance;

(iv) increased tolerance to loss of fuel cooling;

(v) enhanced reliability or improved resilience;

(vi) increased proliferation resistance;

(vii) increased thermal efficiency;

(viii) reduced consumption of cooling water and other environmental impacts;

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

(x) modular sizes to allow for deployment that corresponds with the demand for electricity or process heat; and

(xi) operational flexibility to respond to changes in demand for electricity or process heat and to complement integration with intermittent renewable energy or energy storage; and


(B) a 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; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2002, Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2459.)

Amendments

2020—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 116–260 amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) defined the term "advanced nuclear reactor".

2018Pub. 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.

§16272. Reactor concepts research, development, demonstration, and commercial application

(a) Sustainability program for light water reactors

(1) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application, including through the use of modeling and simulation, to support existing operating nuclear power plants which shall address technologies to modernize and improve, with respect to such plants—

(A) reliability;

(B) capacity;

(C) component aging;

(D) safety;

(E) physical security and security costs;

(F) plant lifetime;

(G) operations and maintenance costs, including by utilizing risk-informed systems analysis;

(H) the ability for plants to operate flexibly;

(I) nuclear integrated energy system applications described in subsection (c);

(J) efficiency;

(K) environmental impacts; and

(L) resilience.

(2) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection $55,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

(3) Report

The Secretary shall submit annually a public report to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate documenting funds spent under the program that describes program activities, objectives, and outcomes, including those that could benefit the entirety of the existing reactor fleet, such as with respect to aging management and related sustainability concerns, and identifying funds awarded to private entities.

(b) Advanced reactor technologies

(1) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to support advanced reactor technologies.

(2) Requirements

In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary shall—

(A) prioritize designs for advanced nuclear reactors that are proliferation resistant and passively safe, including designs that, compared to reactors operating on December 27, 2020—

(i) are economically competitive with other electric power generation plants;

(ii) have higher efficiency, lower cost, less environmental impacts, increased resilience, and improved safety;

(iii) use fuels that are proliferation resistant and have reduced production of high-level waste per unit of output; and

(iv) use advanced instrumentation and monitoring systems;


(B) consult with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on appropriate metrics to consider for the criteria specified in subparagraph (A);

(C) support research and development to resolve materials challenges relating to extreme environments, including environments that contain high levels of—

(i) radiation fluence;

(ii) temperature;

(iii) pressure; and

(iv) corrosion;


(D) support research and development to aid in the qualification of advanced fuels, including fabrication techniques;

(E) support activities that address near-term challenges in modeling and simulation to enable accelerated design of and licensing of advanced nuclear reactors, including the identification of tools and methodologies for validating such modeling and simulation efforts;

(F) develop technologies, including technologies to manage, reduce, or reuse nuclear waste;

(G) ensure that nuclear research infrastructure is maintained or constructed, including—

(i) currently operational research reactors at the National Laboratories and institutions of higher education;

(ii) hot cell research facilities;

(iii) a versatile fast neutron source; and

(iv) advanced coolant testing facilities, including coolants such as lead, sodium, gas, and molten salt;


(H) improve scientific understanding of nonlight water coolant physics and chemistry;

(I) develop advanced sensors and control systems, including the identification of tools and methodologies for validating such sensors and systems;

(J) investigate advanced manufacturing and advanced construction techniques and materials to reduce the cost of advanced nuclear reactors, including the use of digital twins and of strategies to implement project and construction management best practices, and study the effects of radiation and corrosion on materials created with these techniques;

(K) consult with the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration to integrate reactor safeguards and security into design;

(L) support efforts to reduce any technical barriers that would prevent commercial application of advanced nuclear energy systems; and

(M) develop various safety analyses and emergency preparedness and response methodologies.

(3) Coordination

The Secretary shall coordinate with individuals engaged in the private sector and individuals who are experts in nuclear nonproliferation, environmental and public health and safety, and economics to advance the development of various designs of advanced nuclear reactors. In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary shall convene an advisory committee of such individuals and such committee shall submit annually a report to the relevant committees of Congress with respect to the progress of the program.

(4) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection $55,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

(c) Nuclear integrated energy systems research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program

(1) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to develop nuclear integrated energy systems, composed of 2 or more co-located or jointly operated subsystems of energy generation, energy storage, or other technologies and in which not less than 1 such subsystem is a nuclear energy system, to—

(A) reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both the power and nonpower sectors; and

(B) maximize energy production and efficiency.

(2) Coordination

In carrying out the program under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall coordinate with—

(A) relevant program offices within the Department of Energy;

(B) National Laboratories;

(C) institutions of higher education; and

(D) the private sector.

(3) Focus areas

The program under paragraph (1) may include research, development, demonstration, or commercial application of nuclear integrated energy systems with respect to—

(A) desalination technologies and processes;

(B) hydrogen or other liquid and gaseous fuel or chemical production;

(C) heat for industrial processes;

(D) district heating;

(E) heat or electricity generation and storage;

(F) carbon capture, use, utilization, and storage;

(G) microgrid or island applications;

(H) integrated systems modeling, analysis, and optimization, inclusive of different configurations of integrated energy systems; and

(I) integrated design, planning, building, and operation of systems with existing infrastructure, including interconnection requirements with the electric grid, as appropriate.

(4) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection—

(A) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(B) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2022;

(C) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2023;

(D) $40,000,000 for fiscal year 2024; and

(E) $40,000,000 for fiscal year 2025.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §952, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 885; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(b)(1), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3155; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(a), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2459.)

Amendments

2020Pub. L. 116–260 amended section generally. Prior to amendment section related to nuclear energy research programs.

2018—Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 115–248 redesignated subsecs. (d) and (e) as (c) and (d), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (c) which related to establishment and administration of a Nuclear Power 2010 Program.

§16273. Fuel cycle research, development, demonstration, and commercial application

(a) Used nuclear fuel research, development, demonstration, and commercial application

(1) In general

The Secretary shall conduct an advanced fuel cycle research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program to improve fuel cycle performance, minimize environmental and public health and safety impacts, and support a variety of options for used nuclear fuel storage, use, and disposal, including advanced nuclear reactor and non-reactor concepts (such as radioisotope power systems), which may include—

(A) dry cask storage;

(B) consolidated interim storage;

(C) deep geological storage and disposal, including mined repository, and other technologies;

(D) used nuclear fuel transportation;

(E) integrated waste management systems;

(F) vitrification;

(G) fuel recycling and transmutation technologies, including advanced reprocessing technologies such as electrochemical and molten salt technologies, and advanced redox extraction technologies;

(H) advanced materials to be used in subparagraphs (A) through (G); and

(I) other areas as determined by the Secretary.

(2) Requirements

In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary shall—

(A) ensure all activities and designs incorporate state of the art safeguards technologies and techniques to reduce risk of proliferation;

(B) consult with the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration to integrate safeguards and security by design;

(C) consider the potential benefits and other impacts of those activities for civilian nuclear applications, environmental health and safety, and national security, including consideration of public consent; and

(D) consider the economic viability of all activities and designs.

(3) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection $60,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

(b) Advanced fuels

(1) In general

The Secretary shall conduct an advanced fuels research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program on next-generation light water reactor and advanced reactor fuels that demonstrate the potential for improved—

(A) performance;

(B) accident tolerance;

(C) proliferation resistance;

(D) use of resources;

(E) environmental impact; and

(F) economics.

(2) Requirements

In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary shall focus on the development of advanced technology fuels, including fabrication techniques, that offer improved accident-tolerance and economic performance with the goal of initial commercial application by December 31, 2025.

(3) Report

Not later than 180 days December 27, 2020, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report that describes how the technologies and concepts studied under this program would impact reactor economics, the fuel cycle, operations, safety, proliferation, and the environment.

(4) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection $125,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §953, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 886; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(c), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3155; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(b), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2462.)

Amendments

2020Pub. L. 116–260 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to advanced fuel cycle initiative.

2018—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–248 struck out ", acting through the Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology," after "The Secretary".

§16274. Nuclear science and engineering support

(a) University nuclear science and engineering support

(1) In general

The Secretary shall conduct a program to invest in human resources and infrastructure in the nuclear sciences and related fields, including health physics, nuclear engineering, and radiochemistry, consistent with missions of the Department related to civilian nuclear research, development, demonstration, and commercial application.

(2) Requirements

In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary shall—

(A) conduct a graduate and undergraduate fellowship program to attract new and talented students, which may include fellowships for students to spend time at National Laboratories in the areas of nuclear science, engineering, and health physics with a member of the National Laboratory staff acting as a mentor;

(B) conduct a junior faculty research initiation grant program to assist universities in recruiting and retaining new faculty in the nuclear sciences and engineering by awarding grants to junior faculty for research on issues related to nuclear energy engineering and science;

(C) support fundamental nuclear sciences, engineering, and health physics research through a nuclear engineering education and research program;

(D) encourage collaborative nuclear research among industry, National Laboratories, and universities; and

(E) support communication and outreach related to nuclear science, engineering, and health physics.

(3) University-National Laboratory interactions

The Secretary shall conduct—

(A) a fellowship program for professors at universities to spend sabbaticals at National Laboratories in the areas of nuclear science and technology; and

(B) a visiting scientist program in which National Laboratory staff can spend time in academic nuclear science and engineering departments.

(4) Strengthening university research and training reactors and associated infrastructure

In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary may support—

(A) converting research reactors from high-enrichment fuels to low-enrichment fuels and upgrading operational instrumentation;

(B) consortia of universities to broaden access to university research reactors;

(C) student training programs, in collaboration with the United States nuclear industry, in relicensing and upgrading reactors, including through the provision of technical assistance; and

(D) reactor improvements that emphasize research, training, and education, including through the Innovations in Nuclear Infrastructure and Education Program or any similar program.

(5) Radiological facilities management

(A) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program under which the Secretary shall provide project management, technical support, quality engineering and inspection, and nuclear material handling support to research reactors located at universities.

(B) Authorization of appropriations

Of any amounts appropriated to carry out the program under this subsection, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this paragraph $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

(6) Nuclear energy university program

In carrying out the programs under this section, the Department shall, to the maximum extent practicable, allocate 20 percent of funds appropriated to nuclear energy research and development programs annually to fund university-led research and university infrastructure projects through an open, competitive solicitation process.

(7) Operations and maintenance

Funding for a project provided under this subsection may be used for a portion of the operating and maintenance costs of a research reactor at a university used in the project.

(8) Definition

In this subsection, the term "junior faculty" means a faculty member who was awarded a doctorate less than 10 years before receipt of an award from the grant program described in paragraph (2)(B).

(b) Nuclear energy graduate traineeship subprogram

(1) Establishment

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall establish a nuclear energy graduate traineeship subprogram under which the Secretary shall competitively award graduate traineeships in coordination with universities to provide focused, advanced training to meet critical mission needs of the Department, including in industries that are represented by skilled labor unions.

(2) Requirements

In carrying out the subprogram under this subsection, the Secretary shall—

(A) encourage appropriate partnerships among National Laboratories, affected universities, and industry; and

(B) on an annual basis, evaluate the needs of the nuclear energy community to implement graduate traineeships for focused topical areas addressing mission-specific workforce needs.

(3) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the subprogram under this subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §954, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 886; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(d), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3155; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(c), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2463.)

Amendments

2020Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(1), substituted "Nuclear" for "University nuclear" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(10), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and inserted heading.

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(9), added pars. (5) and (6).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(11), added subsec. (b).

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(7), redesignated subsec. (b) as par. (2).

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(2), substituted "this subsection" for "this section" in introductory provisions, redesignated pars. (1) to (5) as subpars. (A) to (E), respectively, and realigned margins.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(7), redesignated subsec. (c) as par. (3).

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(3), redesignated pars. (1) and (2) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, and realigned margins.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(7), redesignated subsec. (d) as par. (4).

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(4), substituted "this subsection" for "this section" in introductory provisions, redesignated pars. (1) to (4) as subpars. (A) to (D), respectively, and realigned margins.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(8), redesignated subsec. (e) as par. (7). Margins realigned to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(5), substituted "this subsection" for "this section".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(8), redesignated susbec. (f) as par. (8). Margins realigned to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(c)(6), substituted "this subsection" for "this section" and "paragraph (2)(B)" for "subsection (b)(2)".

2018—Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 115–248 substituted "that emphasize" for "as part of a taking into consideration effort that emphasizes".

§16274a. University Nuclear Leadership Program

(a) In general

The Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall jointly establish a program, to be known as the "University Nuclear Leadership Program".

(b) Use of funds

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), amounts made available to carry out the Program shall be used to provide financial assistance for scholarships, fellowships, and research and development projects at institutions of higher education in areas relevant to the programmatic mission of the applicable Federal agency, with an emphasis on providing the financial assistance with respect to research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities relevant to civilian advanced nuclear reactors including, but not limited to—

(A) relevant fuel cycle technologies;

(B) project management; and

(C) advanced construction, manufacturing, and fabrication methods.

(2) Exception

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), amounts made available to carry out the Program may be used to provide financial assistance for a scholarship, fellowship, or multiyear research and development project that does not align directly with a programmatic mission of the Department of Energy, if the activity for which assistance is provided would facilitate the maintenance of the discipline of nuclear science or engineering.

(c) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Advanced nuclear reactor; institution of higher education

The terms "advanced nuclear reactor" and "institution of higher education" have the meanings given those terms in section 16271 of this title.

(2) Program

The term "Program" means the University Nuclear Leadership Program established under this section.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the Program for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025—

(1) $30,000,000 to the Secretary of Energy, of which $15,000,000 shall be for use by the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; and

(2) $15,000,000 to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(Pub. L. 111–8, div. C, title III, §313, Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 627; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(e), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2465.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009, and also as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, and not as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

2020Pub. L. 116–260 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to Integrated University Program.

§16275. Department of Energy civilian nuclear infrastructure and facilities

(a) In general

The Secretary shall operate and maintain infrastructure and facilities to support the nuclear energy research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs, including radiological facilities management, isotope production, and facilities management.

(b) Duties

In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—

(1) develop an inventory of nuclear science and engineering facilities, equipment, expertise, and other assets at all of the National Laboratories;

(2) develop a prioritized list of nuclear science and engineering plant and equipment improvements needed at each of the National Laboratories;

(3) consider the available facilities and expertise at all National Laboratories and emphasize investments which complement rather than duplicate capabilities; and

(4) develop a timeline and a proposed budget for the completion of deferred maintenance on plant and equipment, with the goal of ensuring that Department programs under this part will be generally recognized to be among the best in the world.

(c) Versatile neutron source

(1) Authorization

(A) In general

Not later than December 31, 2017, the Secretary shall provide for a versatile reactor-based fast neutron source, which shall operate as a national user facility.

(B) Consultations required

In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consult with the private sector, institutions of higher education, the National Laboratories, and relevant Federal agencies to ensure that the user facility described in subparagraph (A) will meet the research needs of the largest practicable majority of prospective users.

(2) Establishment

As soon as practicable after determining the mission need under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a detailed plan for the establishment of the user facility.

(3) Facility requirements

(A) Capabilities

The Secretary shall ensure that the user facility will provide, at a minimum, the following capabilities:

(i) Fast neutron spectrum irradiation capability.

(ii) Capacity for upgrades to accommodate new or expanded research needs.

(B) Considerations

In carrying out the plan submitted under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall consider the following:

(i) Capabilities that support experimental high-temperature testing.

(ii) Providing a source of fast neutrons at a neutron flux, higher than that at which current research facilities operate, sufficient to enable research for an optimal base of prospective users.

(iii) Maximizing irradiation flexibility and irradiation volume to accommodate as many concurrent users as possible.

(iv) Capabilities for irradiation with neutrons of a lower energy spectrum.

(v) Multiple loops for fuels and materials testing in different coolants.

(vi) Additional pre-irradiation and post-irradiation examination capabilities.

(vii) Lifetime operating costs and lifecycle costs.

(4) Deadline for establishment

The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, complete construction of, and approve the start of operations for, the user facility by not later than December 31, 2026.

(5) Reporting

The Secretary shall include in the annual budget request of the Department an explanation for any delay in the progress of the Department in completing the user facility by the deadline described in paragraph (4).

(6) Coordination

The Secretary shall leverage the best practices for management, construction, and operation of national user facilities from the Office of Science.

(7) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out to completion the construction of the facility under this section—

(A) $295,000,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(B) $348,000,000 for fiscal year 2022;

(C) $525,000,000 for fiscal year 2023;

(D) $534,000,000 for fiscal year 2024; and

(E) $584,000,000 for fiscal year 2025.

(d) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear

(1) In general

In carrying out the programs under this part, the Secretary is authorized to establish a new initiative to be known as the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN). The initiative shall, to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with national security, provide the nuclear energy industry with access to cutting edge research and development along with the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization in an accelerated and cost-effective fashion. The Secretary shall make available, as a minimum—

(A) experimental capabilities and testing facilities;

(B) computational capabilities, modeling, and simulation tools;

(C) access to existing datasets and data validation tools; and

(D) technical assistance with guidance or processes as needed.

(2) Selection

(A) In general

The Secretary shall select industry partners for awards on a competitive merit-reviewed basis.

(B) Considerations

In selecting industry partners under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider—

(i) the information disclosed by the Department as described in paragraph (1); and

(ii) any existing facilities the Department will provide for public private partnership activities.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §955, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 887; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(e), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3156; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(f), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2466.)

Amendments

2020—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(f)(1)(A), substituted "Authorization" for "Mission need" in heading.

Subsec. (c)(1)(A). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(f)(1)(B), substituted "provide" for "determine the mission need".

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(f)(3), substituted "2026" for "2025".

Subsec. (c)(7). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(f)(2), added par. (7).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–260, §2003(f)(4), added subsec.(d).

2018—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 115–248 added subsec. (c) and struck out former subsecs. (c) and (d) which required development of a comprehensive plan for the facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and transmittal of the plan to Congress.

§16276. Security of nuclear facilities

The Secretary shall conduct a research and development program on cost-effective technologies for increasing—

(1) the safety of nuclear facilities from natural phenomena; and

(2) the security of nuclear facilities from deliberate attacks.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §956, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 888; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(f), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3157.)

Amendments

2018Pub. L. 115–248 struck out ", acting through the Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology," after "The Secretary" in introductory provisions.

§16277. High-performance computation and supportive research

(a) Modeling and simulation

The Secretary shall carry out a program to enhance the capabilities of the United States to develop new reactor technologies through high-performance computation modeling and simulation techniques.

(b) Coordination

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall coordinate with relevant Federal agencies as described by the National Strategic Computing Initiative established by Executive Order 13702 (80 Fed. Reg. 46177 (July 29, 2015)), while taking into account the following objectives:

(1) Using expertise from the private sector, institutions of higher education, and the National Laboratories to develop computational software and capabilities that prospective users may access to accelerate research and development of advanced nuclear reactor systems and reactor systems for space exploration.

(2) Developing computational tools to simulate and predict nuclear phenomena that may be validated through physical experimentation.

(3) Increasing the utility of the research infrastructure of the Department by coordinating with the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program within the Office of Science.

(4) Leveraging experience from the Energy Innovation Hub for Modeling and Simulation.

(5) Ensuring that new experimental and computational tools are accessible to relevant research communities, including private sector entities engaged in nuclear energy technology development.

(c) Supportive research activities

The Secretary shall consider support for additional research activities to maximize the utility of the research facilities of the Department, including physical processes—

(1) to simulate degradation of materials and behavior of fuel forms; and

(2) for validation of computational tools.

(d) Duplication

The Secretary shall ensure the coordination of, and avoid unnecessary duplication of, the activities of the program under subsection (a) with the activities of—

(1) other research entities of the Department, including the National Laboratories, the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, and the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program; and

(2) industry.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §957, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 888; Pub. L. 115–248, §2(g), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3157; Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2004, Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2470.)

References in Text

Executive Order 13702, referred to in subsec. (b), is set out as a note under section 5501 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendments

2020—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–260 added subsec. (d).

2018Pub. L. 115–248 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to survey and plan regarding alternatives to industrial radioactive sources.

§16278. Enabling nuclear energy innovation

(a) National Reactor Innovation Center

There is authorized a program to enable the testing and demonstration of reactor concepts to be proposed and funded, in whole or in part, by the private sector.

(b) Technical expertise

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall leverage the technical expertise of relevant Federal agencies and the National Laboratories in order to minimize the time required to enable construction and operation of privately funded experimental reactors at National Laboratories or other Department-owned sites.

(c) Objectives

The reactors described in subsection (b) shall operate to meet the following objectives:

(1) Enabling physical validation of advanced nuclear reactor concepts.

(2) Resolving technical uncertainty and increasing practical knowledge relevant to safety, resilience, security, and functionality of advanced nuclear reactor concepts.

(3) General research and development to improve nascent technologies.

(d) Sharing technical expertise

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary may enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Chairman of the Commission in order to share technical expertise and knowledge through—

(1) enabling the testing and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts to be proposed and funded, in whole or in part, by the private sector;

(2) operating a database to store and share data and knowledge relevant to nuclear science and engineering between Federal agencies and the private sector;

(3) developing and testing electric and nonelectric integration and energy conversion systems relevant to advanced nuclear reactors;

(4) leveraging expertise from the Commission with respect to safety analysis; and

(5) enabling technical staff of the Commission to actively observe and learn about technologies developed under the program.

(e) Agency coordination

The Chairman of the Commission and the Secretary shall enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the following:

(1) Ensuring that—

(A) the Department has sufficient technical expertise to support the timely research, development, demonstration, and commercial application by the civilian nuclear industry of safe and innovative advanced nuclear reactor technology; and

(B) the Commission has sufficient technical expertise to support the evaluation of applications for licenses, permits, and design certifications and other requests for regulatory approval for advanced nuclear reactors.


(2) The use of computers and software codes to calculate the behavior and performance of advanced nuclear reactors based on mathematical models of the physical behavior of advanced nuclear reactors.

(3) Ensuring that—

(A) the Department maintains and develops the facilities necessary to enable the timely research, development, demonstration, and commercial application by the civilian nuclear industry of safe and innovative reactor technology; and

(B) the Commission has access to the facilities described in subparagraph (A), as needed.

(f) Reporting requirements

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after September 28, 2018, the Secretary, in consultation with the National Laboratories, relevant Federal agencies, and other stakeholders, shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report assessing the capabilities of the Department to authorize, host, and oversee privately funded experimental advanced nuclear reactors as described in subsection (b).

(2) Contents

The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall address—

(A) the safety review and oversight capabilities of the Department, including options to leverage expertise from the Commission and the National Laboratories;

(B) options to regulate privately proposed and funded experimental reactors hosted by the Department;

(C) potential sites capable of hosting privately funded experimental advanced nuclear reactors;

(D) the efficacy of the available contractual mechanisms of the Department to partner with the private sector and Federal agencies, including cooperative research and development agreements, strategic partnership projects, and agreements for commercializing technology;

(E) the liability of the Federal Government with respect to the disposal of low-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or high-level radioactive waste (as those terms are defined in section 10101 of this title);

(F) the impact on the aggregate inventory in the United States of low-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or high-level radioactive waste (as those terms are defined in section 10101 of this title);

(G) potential cost structures relating to physical security, decommissioning, liability, and other long-term project costs; and

(H) other challenges or considerations identified by the Secretary.

(3) Updates

Once every 2 years, the Secretary shall update relevant provisions of the report submitted under paragraph (1) and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress the update.

(g) Savings clauses

(1) Licensing requirement

Nothing in this section authorizes the Secretary or any person to construct or operate a nuclear reactor for the purpose of demonstrating the suitability for commercial application of the nuclear reactor unless licensed by the Commission in accordance with section 5842 of this title.

(2) Financial protection

Any activity carried out under this section that involves the risk of public liability shall be subject to the financial protection or indemnification requirements of section 2210 of this title (commonly known as the "Price-Anderson Act").

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §958, as added Pub. L. 115–248, §2(h), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3157.)

§16279. Budget plan

(a) In general

Not later than 1 year after September 28, 2018, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives 2 alternative 10-year budget plans for civilian nuclear energy research and development by the Secretary, as described in subsections (b) through (d).

(b) Budget plan alternative 1

One of the budget plans submitted under subsection (a) shall assume constant annual funding for 10 years at the appropriated level for the current fiscal year for the civilian nuclear energy research and development of the Department.

(c) Budget plan alternative 2

One of the budget plans submitted under subsection (a) shall be an unconstrained budget.

(d) Inclusions

Each alternative budget plan submitted under subsection (a) shall include—

(1) a prioritized list of the programs, projects, and activities of the Department to best support the development of advanced nuclear reactor technologies;

(2) realistic budget requirements for the Department to implement sections 16275(c), 16277, and 16278 of this title;

(3) the justification of the Department for continuing or terminating existing civilian nuclear energy research and development programs; and

(4) a description of the progress made under the programs described in section 16279a of this title.

(e) Updates

Not less frequently than once every 2 years, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate updated 10-year budget plans which shall identify, and provide a justification for, any major deviation from a previous budget plan submitted under this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §959, as added Pub. L. 115–248, §2(i), Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3160; amended Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2005, 134 Stat. 2470.)

Amendments

2020—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 116–260, §2005(1), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "One of the budget plans submitted under subsection (a) shall assume constant annual funding for 10 years at the appropriated level for the civilian nuclear energy research and development of the Department for fiscal year 2016."

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 116–260, §2005(2)–(4), added par. (4).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 116–260, §2005(5), added subsec. (e).

§16279a. Advanced reactor demonstration program

(a) Demonstration project defined

For the purposes of this section, the term "demonstration project" means an advanced nuclear reactor operated in any manner, including as part of the power generation facilities of an electric utility system, for the purpose of demonstrating the suitability for commercial application of the advanced nuclear reactor.

(b) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a program to advance the research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of domestic advanced, affordable, nuclear energy technologies by—

(1) demonstrating a variety of advanced nuclear reactor technologies, including those that could be used to produce—

(A) safer, emissions-free power at a competitive cost of electricity compared to other new energy generation technologies on December 27, 2020;

(B) heat for community heating, industrial purposes, heat storage, or synthetic fuel production;

(C) remote or off-grid energy supply; or

(D) backup or mission-critical power supplies;


(2) identifying research areas that the private sector is unable or unwilling to undertake due to the cost of, or risks associated with, the research; and

(3) facilitating the access of the private sector—

(A) to Federal research facilities and personnel; and

(B) to the results of research relating to civil nuclear technology funded by the Federal Government.

(c) Demonstration projects

In carrying out demonstration projects under the program established in subsection (b), the Secretary shall—

(1) include, as an evaluation criterion, diversity in designs for the advanced nuclear reactors demonstrated under this section, including designs using various—

(A) primary coolants;

(B) fuel types and compositions; and

(C) neutron spectra;


(2) consider, as evaluation criterions—

(A) the likelihood that the operating cost for future commercial units for each design implemented through a demonstration project under this subsection is cost-competitive in the applicable market, including those designs configured as integrated energy systems as described in section 16272(c) of this title;

(B) the technology readiness level of a proposed advanced nuclear reactor technology;

(C) the technical abilities and qualifications of teams desiring to demonstrate a proposed advanced nuclear reactor technology; and

(D) the capacity to meet cost-share requirements of the Department;


(3) ensure that each evaluation of candidate technologies for the demonstration projects is completed through an external review of proposed designs, which review shall—

(A) be conducted by a panel that includes not fewer than 1 representative that does not have a conflict of interest of each within the applicable market of the design of—

(i) an electric utility;

(ii) an entity that uses high-temperature process heat for manufacturing or industrial processing, such as a petrochemical or synthetic fuel company, a manufacturer of metals or chemicals, or a manufacturer of concrete;

(iii) an expert from the investment community;

(iv) a project management practitioner; and

(v) an environmental health and safety expert; and


(B) include a review of each demonstration project under this subsection which shall include consideration of cost-competitiveness and other value streams, together with the technology readiness level, the technical abilities and qualifications of teams desiring to demonstrate a proposed advanced nuclear reactor technology, the capacity to meet cost-share requirements of the Department, if Federal funding is provided, and environmental impacts;


(4) for federally funded demonstration projects, enter into cost-sharing agreements with private sector partners in accordance with section 16352 of this title for the conduct of activities relating to the research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor designs under the program;

(5) consult with—

(A) National Laboratories;

(B) institutions of higher education;

(C) traditional end users (such as electric utilities);

(D) potential end users of new technologies (such as users of high-temperature process heat for manufacturing processing, including petrochemical or synthetic fuel companies, manufacturers of metals or chemicals, or manufacturers of concrete);

(E) developers of advanced nuclear reactor technology;

(F) environmental and public health and safety experts; and

(G) non-proliferation experts;


(6) seek to ensure that the demonstration projects carried out under this section do not cause any delay in the progress of an advanced reactor project by private industry and the Department of Energy that is underway as of December 27, 2020;

(7) establish a streamlined approval process for expedited contracting between awardees and the Department;

(8) identify technical challenges to candidate technologies;

(9) support near-term research and development to address the highest risk technical challenges to the successful demonstration of a selected advanced reactor technology, in accordance with—

(A) paragraph (8);

(B) the research and development activities under section 16272(b) of this title; and

(C) the research and development activities under section 16278 of this title; and


(10) establish such technology advisory working groups as the Secretary determines to be appropriate to advise the Secretary regarding the technical challenges identified under paragraph (8) and the scope of research and development programs to address the challenges, in accordance with paragraph (9), to be comprised of—

(A) private sector advanced nuclear reactor technology developers;

(B) technical experts with respect to the relevant technologies at institutions of higher education;

(C) technical experts at the National Laboratories;

(D) environmental and public health and safety experts;

(E) non-proliferation experts; and

(F) any other entities the Secretary determines appropriate.

(d) Milestone-based demonstration projects

The Secretary may carry out demonstration projects under subsection (c) as a milestone-based demonstration project under section 7256c of this title.

(e) Nonduplication

Entities may not receive funds under this program if receiving funds from another reactor demonstration program at the Department in the same fiscal year.

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection—

(1) $405,000,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(2) $405,000,000 for fiscal year 2022;

(3) $420,000,000 for fiscal year 2023;

(4) $455,000,000 for fiscal year 2024; and

(5) $455,000,000 for fiscal year 2025.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §959A, as added Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(g)(1), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2467.)

§16279b. International nuclear energy cooperation

The Secretary shall carry out a program—

(1) to collaborate in international efforts with respect to research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of nuclear technology that supports diplomatic, financing, nonproliferation, climate, and international economic objectives for the safe, secure, and peaceful use of such technology; and

(2) to develop collaboration initiatives with respect to such efforts with a variety of countries through—

(A) preparations for research and development agreements;

(B) the development of coordinated action plans; and

(C) new or existing multilateral cooperation commitments including—

(i) the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation;

(ii) the Generation IV International Forum;

(iii) the International Atomic Energy Agency;

(iv) the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency; and

(v) any other international collaborative effort with respect to advanced nuclear reactor operations and safety.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §959B, as added Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2003(h)(1), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2470.)

§16279c. Organization and administration of programs

(a) Coordination

In carrying out this part, the Secretary shall coordinate activities, and effectively manage crosscutting research priorities across programs of the Department and other relevant Federal agencies, including the National Laboratories.

(b) Collaboration

(1) In general

In carrying out this part, the Secretary shall collaborate with industry, National Laboratories, other relevant Federal agencies, institutions of higher education, including minority-serving institutions and research reactors, Tribal entities, including Alaska Native Corporations, and international bodies with relevant scientific and technical expertise.

(2) Participation

To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall encourage research projects that promote collaboration between entities specified in paragraph (1).

(c) Dissemination of results and public availability

The Secretary shall, except to the extent protected from disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5, publish the results of projects supported under this part through Department websites, reports, databases, training materials, and industry conferences, including information discovered after the completion of such projects.

(d) Education and outreach

In carrying out the activities described in this part, the Secretary shall support education and outreach activities to disseminate information and promote public understanding of nuclear energy.

(e) Technical assistance

In carrying out this part, for the purposes of supporting technical, nonhardware, and information-based advances in nuclear energy development and operations, the Secretary shall also conduct technical assistance and analysis activities, including activities that support commercial application of nuclear energy in rural, Tribal, and low-income communities.

(f) Program review

At least annually, all programs in this part shall be subject to an annual review by the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee of the Department or other independent entity, as appropriate.

(g) Sensitive information

The Secretary shall not publish any information generated under this part that is detrimental to national security, as determined by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title IX, §959C, as added Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2006(a), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2471.)

§16280. Advanced Nuclear Energy Licensing Cost-Share Grant Program

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Commission

The term "Commission" means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(2) Program

The term "program" means the Advanced Nuclear Energy Cost-Share Grant Program established under subsection (b).

(3) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Energy.

(b) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a grant program, to be known as the "Advanced Nuclear Energy Cost-Share Grant Program", under which the Secretary shall make cost-share grants to applicants for the purpose of funding a portion of the Commission fees of the applicant for pre-application review activities and application review activities.

(c) Requirement

The Secretary shall seek out technology diversity in making grants under the program.

(d) Cost-share amount

The Secretary shall determine the cost-share amount for each grant under the program in accordance with section 16352 of this title.

(e) Use of funds

A recipient of a grant under the program may use the grant funds to cover Commission fees, including those fees associated with—

(1) developing a licensing project plan;

(2) obtaining a statement of licensing feasibility;

(3) reviewing topical reports; and

(4) other—

(A) pre-application review activities;

(B) application review activities; and

(C) interactions with the Commission.

(Pub. L. 115–248, §3, Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3160.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017, and not as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which comprises this chapter.

§16281. Advanced nuclear fuel availability

(a) Program

(1) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish and carry out, through the Office of Nuclear Energy, a program to support the availability of HA–LEU for civilian domestic research, development, demonstration, and commercial use.

(2) Program elements

In carrying out the program under paragraph (1), the Secretary—

(A) shall develop, in consultation with the Commission, criticality benchmark data to assist the Commission in—

(i) the licensing and regulation of special nuclear material fuel fabrication and enrichment facilities under part 70 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(ii) certification of transportation packages under part 71 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations;


(B) shall conduct research and development, and provide financial assistance to assist commercial entities, to design and license transportation packages for HA–LEU, including canisters for metal, gas, and other HA–LEU compositions;

(C) shall, to the extent practicable—

(i) by January 1, 2024, support commercial entity submission of such transportation package designs to the Commission for certification by the Commission under part 71 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(ii) encourage the Commission to have such transportation package designs so certified by the Commission within 24 months after receipt of an application;


(D) shall consider options for acquiring or providing HA–LEU from a stockpile of uranium owned by the Department, or using enrichment technology, to make available to members of the consortium established pursuant to subparagraph (F) for commercial use or demonstration projects, taking into account cost and amount of time required, and prioritizing methods that would produce usable HA–LEU the quickest, including options for acquiring or providing HA–LEU—

(i) that—

(I) directly meets the needs of an end user; and

(II) has been previously used or fabricated for another purpose;


(ii) that meets the needs of an end user after having radioactive or other contaminants that resulted from a previous use or fabrication of the fuel for research, development, demonstration, or deployment activities of the Department removed;

(iii) that is produced from high-enriched uranium that is blended with lower assay uranium to become HA–LEU to meet the needs of an end user;

(iv) that is produced by Department research, development, and demonstration activities;

(v) that is produced in the United States by—

(I) a United States-owned commercial entity operating United States-origin technology;

(II) a United States-owned commercial entity operating a foreign-origin technology; or

(III) a foreign-owned entity operating a foreign-origin technology;


(vi) that does not require extraction of uranium or development of uranium from lands managed by the Federal Government, cause harm to the natural or cultural resources of Tribal communities or sovereign Native Nations, or result in degraded ground or surface water quality on publicly managed or privately owned lands; or

(vii) that does not negatively impact the availability of HA–LEU by the Department to support the production of medical isotopes, including the medical isotopes defined under the American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–239; 126 Stat. 2211);


(E) not later than 1 year after December 27, 2020, and biennially thereafter, shall conduct a survey of stakeholders to estimate the quantity of HA–LEU necessary for domestic commercial use for each of the 5 subsequent years;

(F) shall establish, and from time to time update, a consortium, which may include entities involved in any stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, to partner with the Department to support the availability of HA–LEU for civilian domestic demonstration and commercial use, including by—

(i) providing information to the Secretary for purposes of surveys conducted under subparagraph (E);

(ii) purchasing HA–LEU made available by the Secretary to members of the consortium for commercial use under the program; and

(iii) carrying out demonstration projects using HA–LEU provided by the Secretary under the program;


(G) if applicable, shall, prior to acquiring or providing HA–LEU under subparagraph (H), in coordination with the consortium established pursuant to subparagraph (F), develop a schedule for cost recovery of HA–LEU made available to members of the consortium using HA–LEU for commercial use pursuant to subparagraph (H);

(H) shall, beginning not later than 3 years after the establishment of a consortium under subparagraph (F), have the capability to acquire or provide HA–LEU, in order to make such HA–LEU available to members of the consortium beginning not later than January 1, 2026, in amounts that are consistent, to the extent practicable, with—

(i) the quantities estimated under the surveys conducted under subparagraph (E); plus

(ii) the quantities necessary for demonstration projects carried out under the program, as determined by the Secretary;

(I) shall, for advanced reactor demonstration projects, prioritize the provision of HA–LEU made available under this section through a merit-based, competitive selection process; and

(J) shall seek to ensure that the activities carried out under this section do not cause any delay in the progress of any HA–LEU project between private industry and the Department that is underway as of December 27, 2020.

(3) Applicability of USEC Privatization Act

(A) Sale or transfer to consortium

The requirements of section 3112 of the USEC Privatization Act (42 U.S.C. 2297h–10), except for the requirements of subparagraph (A) of section 3112(d)(2), shall not apply to the provision of enrichment services, or the sale or transfer of HA–LEU for commercial use by the Secretary to a member of the consortium under this subsection.

(B) Demonstration

HA–LEU made available to members of the consortium established pursuant to paragraph (2)(F) for demonstration projects shall remain the property of and title will remain with the Department, which shall be responsible for the storage, use, and disposition of all radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel created by the irradiation, processing, or purification of such uranium, and shall not be subject to the requirements of a sale or transfer of uranium under sections 3112, except for the requirements of subparagraph (A) of section 3112, and 3113of the USEC Privatization Act (42 U.S.C. 2297h–10; 42 U.S.C. 2297h–11).

(4) National security needs

The Secretary shall only make available to a member of the consortium under this section for commercial or demonstration project use material that the President has determined is not necessary for national security needs, provided that this available material shall not include any material that the Secretary may determine to be necessary for the National Nuclear Security Administration or other critical Departmental missions.

(5) DOE acquisition of HA–LEU

The Secretary may not make commitments under this section (including cooperative agreements (used in accordance with section 6305 of title 31), purchase agreements, guarantees, leases, service contracts, or any other type of commitment) for the purchase or other acquisition of HA–LEU unless—

(A) funds are specifically provided for such purposes in advance in subsequent appropriations Acts, and only to the extent that the full extent of anticipated costs stemming from such commitments is recorded as an obligation up front and in full at the time it is made; or

(B) such committing agreement includes a clause conditioning the Federal Government's obligation on the availability of future year appropriations.

(6) Sunset

The authority of the Secretary to carry out the program under this subsection shall expire on the earlier of—

(A) September 30, 2034; or

(B) 90 days after the date on which HA–LEU is available to provide a reliable and adequate supply for civilian domestic advanced nuclear reactors in the commercial market.

(7) Limitation

The Secretary shall not barter or otherwise sell or transfer uranium in any form in exchange for services relating to the final disposition of radioactive waste from uranium that is made available under this subsection.

(b) Reports to Congress

(1) Commission report on necessary regulatory updates

Not later than 12 months after December 27, 2020, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report that includes—

(A) identification of updates to regulations, certifications, and other regulatory policies that the Commission determines are necessary in order for HA–LEU to be commercially available, including—

(i) guidance for material control and accountability of special nuclear material;

(ii) certifications relating to transportation packaging for HA–LEU; and

(iii) licensing of enrichment, conversion, and fuel fabrication facilities for HA–LEU, and associated physical security plans for such facilities;


(B) a description of such updates; and

(C) a timeline to complete such updates.

(2) DOE report on program to support the availability of ha–leu for civilian domestic demonstration and commercial use

(A) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2020, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes actions proposed to be carried out by the Secretary under the program described in subsection (a)(1).

(B) Coordination and stakeholder input

In developing the report under this paragraph, the Secretary shall consult with—

(i) the Commission;

(ii) suppliers of medical isotopes that have converted their operations to use HA–LEU;

(iii) the National Laboratories;

(iv) institutions of higher education;

(v) a diverse group of entities from the nuclear energy industry;

(vi) a diverse group of technology developers;

(vii) experts in nuclear nonproliferation, environmental safety, safeguards and security, and public health and safety; and

(viii) members of the consortium created under subsection (a)(2)(F).

(C) Cost and schedule estimates

The report under this paragraph shall include estimated costs, budgets, and timeframes for all activities carried out under this section.

(D) Required evaluations

The report under this paragraph shall evaluate—

(i) the actions required to establish and carry out the program under subsection (a)(1) and the cost of such actions, including with respect to—

(I) proposed preliminary terms for contracting between the Department and recipients of HA–LEU under the program (including guidelines defining the roles and responsibilities between the Department and the recipient); and

(II) the potential to coordinate with recipients of HA–LEU under the program regarding—

(aa) fuel fabrication; and

(bb) fuel transport;


(ii) the potential sources and fuel forms available to provide uranium for the program under subsection (a)(1);

(iii) options to coordinate the program under subsection (a)(1) with the operation of the versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source under section 16279a of this title (as added by section 2003);

(iv) the ability of uranium producers to provide materials for advanced nuclear reactor fuel;

(v) any associated legal, regulatory, and policy issues that should be addressed to enable—

(I) implementation of the program under subsection (a)(1); and

(II) the establishment of an industry capable of providing HA–LEU; and


(vi) any research and development plans to develop criticality benchmark data under subsection (a)(2)(A), if needed.

(3) Alternate fuels report

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2020, the Secretary shall, after consulting with relevant entities, including National Laboratories, institutions of higher education, and technology developers, submit to Congress a report identifying any and all options for providing nuclear material, containing isotopes other than the uranium-235 isotope, such as uranium-233 and thorium-232 to be used as fuel for advanced nuclear reactor research, development, demonstration, or commercial application purposes.

(c) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out research, development, demonstration, and transportation activities in this section—

(1) $31,500,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(2) $33,075,000 for fiscal year 2022;

(3) $34,728,750 for fiscal year 2023;

(4) $36,465,188 for fiscal year 2024; and

(5) $38,288,447 for fiscal year 2025.

(d) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Commission

The term "Commission" means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(2) Demonstration project

The term "demonstration project" has the meaning given such term in section 16279a of this title.

(3) HA–LEU

The term "HA–LEU" means high-assay low-enriched uranium.

(4) High-assay low-enriched uranium

The term "high-assay low-enriched uranium" means uranium having an assay greater than 5.0 weight percent and less than 20.0 weight percent of the uranium-235 isotope.

(5) High-enriched uranium

The term "high-enriched uranium" means uranium with an assay of 20.0 weight percent or more of the uranium-235 isotope.

(6) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Energy.

(Pub. L. 116–260, div. Z, title II, §2001, Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2453.)

References in Text

The American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(D)(vii), is subtitle F (§3171 et seq.) of title XXXI of div. C of Pub. L. 112–239, Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 2211. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2013 Amendment note set out under section 2011 of this title and Tables.

Section 16279a of this title (as added by section 2003), referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(D)(iii), is section 16279a of this title as added by section 2003 of div. Z of Pub. L. 116–260.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Energy Act of 2020, and not as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which comprises this chapter.