2024-07-15 8:18 AM

Reps. Beyer, Trahan Celebrate Signing of Fusion Energy Act

Wednesday, July 10 — Congressional Fusion Energy Caucus Co-Chairs Don Beyer (D-VA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), and Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) today celebrated the signing of their Fusion Energy Act. The bipartisan legislation was included along with the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act in the text of S. 870, broad energy legislation which passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. The Fusion Energy Act will codify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to establish a regulatory framework for fusion machines under its byproduct materials framework, improving regulatory certainty for fusion research firms to promote the development of fusion technology.

“The Fusion Energy Act is bipartisan legislation that will foster innovation by providing regulatory certainty to help bring fusion power to the grid once we have made the necessary technological advances,” said Congressman Beyer. “It is important that government help and not hinder efforts to unlock the incredible potential of fusion. I’m thrilled to see this bill signed into law, and will continue to do all I can to advance fusion research and development.”

“Unlocking commercial fusion energy will lower energy costs for working families, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and protect our planet for generations to come. With the bipartisan Fusion Energy Act now law, that long-sought breakthrough is closer than it’s ever been,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “I’m grateful to my Fusion Caucus co-chairs who were instrumental in advancing this landmark law that will help the United States win the fusion race.”

“The adoption of clean fusion energy will lower energy costs for American families, dramatically lower emissions, and enhance our country’s national security,” said Rep. Jay Obernolte. “Now that the Fusion Energy Act has been signed into law, we are one step closer to making fusion energy a reality. The efforts of my colleagues in the Fusion Caucus were instrumental in passing this bipartisan and bicameral legislation, and I look forward to continuing our work together to realize the incredible potential of fusion energy.”

“New nuclear is the critical key to securing America’s future economic prosperity, national security, and energy independence. We need to take full advantage of the groundbreaking developments in new nuclear and fusion research now to lay the firm foundation that will secure America’s nuclear preeminence for the rest of the 21st Century,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann. “I thank my Fusion Caucus co-chairs for their close collaboration and my bipartisan colleagues who joined us in passing our vital bill and this larger nuclear package into law.”

In addition to codifying the NRC’s vote last year, the Fusion Energy Act also:

  • Ensures that the NRC will promulgate a unique regulatory framework for licensing commercial fusion devices to streamline the implementation of commercial fusion.
  • Requires the NRC to report to Congress on its plans to expedite the licensing process for fusion energy devices.

Prior to NRC’s vote in April, the lawmakers wrote to NRC encouraging them to “expeditiously establish a regulatory framework for commercial fusion facilities that ensures public health and safety, while avoiding unnecessary regulatory burden and uncertainty.

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