The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Senate passes bill to expand nuclear power

The United States Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that includes provisions to expand the development and deployment of nuclear energy.

The Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act of 2023 promotes nuclear power, including small modular reactors (SMRs) and highly concentrated nuclear fuel, and the export of nuclear materials and technology. It also redirects the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to promote nuclear power in addition to regulating it.

The legislation has already passed the U.S. House and will become law if signed by the president.

Per dollar of investment, clean energy solutions – such as energy efficiency and renewable resources – deliver far more energy than nuclear power. As of January 2024, utility-scale solar’s capacity eclipsed that of nuclear power generation in the United States.

In response, Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, issued the following statement:

“It’s disappointing that the Senate chose to promote nuclear power when America is flush with energy options that are better for people and the planet. Nuclear is, at best, a waste of resources. At worst, it’s a melt-down.

“Why are we choosing to split atoms when it’s cheaper, faster and better for the environment to cut energy waste and power our lives with wind and solar?

Government officials should embrace energy efficiency and renewables as the best solutions to America’s challenges.”

Isaac Bowers, federal legislative director of PIRG, issued the following statement:

“American consumers have better energy options than nuclear power. It makes no sense to perpetuate this expensive, risky industry when America has an abundance of cleaner, safer and more affordable renewable energy sources.”

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