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Floor Statement on H.R. 5866

Nov 30, 2010
Floor Speeches

Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 2010


Washington, Nov 30, 2010 - I rise in support of H.R. 5866.

Nuclear power has been a cornerstone of American domestic energy policy for decades, and it could have had great positive impact if we had not succumbed to irrational attacks by environmental radicals – who seem to oppose any source of energy. They ended up costing us hundreds of billions of dollars for imports we otherwise wouldn’t have needed.

We now, however, have a tremendous opportunity to use the latest nuclear technology developments to produce safe, clean, and cost-effective energy for our country and the world. This bill updates America’s nuclear energy research and funds those technologies that show the greatest possibilities.

We are on the cusp of a new era of nuclear energy. Small Modular Reactors will provide safe, cost-effective electricity without the significant risks evident in current large-scale reactor systems. The next generation of reactors will be using, as fuel, the waste of today’s reactors. Thus, America’s waste storage needs will be drastically cut.

Advanced gas-cooled nuclear systems will meet industrial needs without relying on local water sources, eliminating conflict over water use, left over waste, and other environmental concerns. New high-temperature gas-cooled reactor systems will leave behind less waste, and it will be impossible for them to melt down, this based on their pebble bed design.

Investments in such innovation now, will provide long term benefits: energy production, waste disposal, and environmental stewardship all will be enhanced. The security implications of weaning ourselves off foreign oil are evident.

Obviously, a sustainable long-term domestically-produced clean energy future is in the best interests of all Americans. Investing in new nuclear technologies can accomplish this, and will put our country back on the path to energy self-sufficiency.

One admonition, powerful interests would have us waste money on old technologies, like light water reactors or on nuclear fusion which has had little demonstrable progress after decades of massive investment. So it is time for us to start building what is possible for us to build, especially when it has come so far already… and is ready to go.

It is for these reasons that I strongly endorse the American nuclear energy industry, and I ask you to join me in full support of H.R. 5866.