Resolution Supporting the Preservation of the Existing Nuclear Fleet and Deployment of Advanced Nuclear Technologies

From ALEC Exposed
Jump to: navigation, search
Model Bill Info
Bill Title Resolution Supporting the Preservation of the Existing Nuclear Fleet and Deployment of Advanced Nuclear Technologies
Date Introduced July 29, 2021
Date Finalized August 25, 2021
Type Model Resolution
Status Final
Task Forces Energy, Environment and Agriculture

Resolution Supporting the Preservation of the Existing Nuclear Fleet and Deployment of Advanced Nuclear Technologies

WHEREAS, The 93 nuclear reactors in 28 states are an economic, environmental and fiscal powerhouse for the United States of America, employing 100,000 skilled workers and providing clean electricity to nearly 20 percent of the nation’s homes and businesses, which amounts to more than half of all clean power generation in our country while contributing $12 billion annually in state and federal taxes; and

WHEREAS, The safe, secure operation of the U.S. commercial nuclear fleet and the protection of public health and the environment are the highest priorities of the industry’s skilled workforce, and

WHEREAS, The domestic nuclear fleet accounts for 52 percent of the Nation’s carbon-free, non-emitting electric power generation, with carbon dioxide avoidance benefits roughly equivalent to planting more than 8 trillion trees; and

WHEREAS, There is broad consensus that continued progress on air pollution reductions and carbon mitigation in the electricity sector will require construction of new nuclear plants, emphasizing both completion of new reactors already under construction as well as deployment of new reactor designs of various sizes, using light water, non-light water and other technologies; and

WHEREAS, the economic impact on communities generated by the decline of coal-fired electricity may be reversed through the deployment of small modular reactors that provide good-paying jobs with little need for retraining; and

WHEREAS, Nuclear power plants’ clean, reliable, baseload power provides needed fuel and technology diversity, voltage support, fuel certainty and system resiliency to the grid – a unique value proposition that merits fuller recognition by energy markets; and

WHEREAS, Some nuclear plants, particularly those operating in merchant electricity markets, are not fully compensated for the clean air, 24/7 reliability, diversity, fuel security and resiliency they provide to the electricity sector and its residential and business customers; and

WHEREAS, A number of states have taken individual action, or have contemplated action, to preserve their valuable nuclear assets absent recognition of the value by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or an appropriate pricing signal from Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO), and

WHEREAS, The U.S. commercial nuclear industry, under the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, has contributed more than $40 billion to establish a safe, permanent used fuel repository and more than $11 billion has been spent on the Yucca Mountain project to date with no finished repository yet established as required by federal law; and

WHEREAS, The federal government has not met its obligation to dispose of used nuclear fuel, due to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) abandonment of the Yucca Mountain project in 2010 and a halt in the project’s funding, while $800 million per year in taxpayers’ money is paid out of the judgment fund to pay for the government’s failure to meet its waste acceptance commitments; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Nuclear utilities have been forced to continue to manage growing volumes of used fuel at reactor sites, which they have done safely in the absence of the federal government’s compliance with the law, and

WHEREAS, The broad domestic nuclear manufacturing, supplier and services network that maintains the existing Nuclear fleet is actively engaged in developing innovative reactor technologies, with energy-generating and other promising applications that merit support by DOE so they are positioned to compete in the worldwide nuclear technology market in which the United States must continue to be a leader; and

WHEREAS, Continued U.S. leadership in commercial nuclear energy research, development, deployment and regulation is fundamental to America’s energy, economic and national security and international safety, health and stability and, thus, are American foreign policy and trade imperatives;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that [the Legislature of State] recognizes the U.S. commercial Nuclear industry as a zero-carbon, emissions-free dependable workhorse of the domestic electricity sector, and an economic engine and large source of tax revenue for those communities and states that host Nuclear power plants and the businesses that comprise the commercial Nuclear supply chain; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That [Legislature of State] recognizes [a state’s] authority to act to recognize and preserve the economic and environmental benefits provided by nuclear energy, and encourages the FERC, the RTOs and Independent Systems Operators to embrace reforms that will monetarily impact the economics of nuclear plants to ensure their continued operation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [the Legislature of State] encourages the Administration and the Congress to advance a durable used fuel program that prompts DOE to meet the requirements of the NWPA and leads to licensing and construction of a used fuel repository and, in parallel, development of consolidated interim storage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that [the Legislature of State] supports the development of advanced nuclear facilities as a means of ensuring access to abundant, affordable, resilient, flexible, and clean energy that supports a growing economy.