H.R. 1320 modifies the formula used to determine the amount of fees the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) charges the entities it regulates. The bill also would modify procedures related to NRC’s review of applications for certain permits and licenses and allow the agency to conduct, on an informal basis, any type of hearing requested to review the agency’s actions or decisions. H.R. 1320 also would require the NRC and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to complete a variety of studies and reports on nuclear-related issues.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses and regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other facilities that use radioactive materials.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 2, 2017.
Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy Act
This bill revises the functions of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)by establishing new transparency and accountability measures on the commission's budget and fee structure and developing the regulatory framework necessary to enable the licensing of advanced nuclear reactors.
The bill amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 to remove amounts appropriated for the Advanced Reactor Program from the NRC's fee recovery requirement.The NRC must ensure that the collection of fees is equal to its budget authority.The NRC may collect fees through: (1)fees for services that specifically benefit a particular person or entity, and (2)annual fees to fund regulatory costs.The bill places a cap on the amount of the annual fee that may be charged to an operating reactor, which the NRC may waive if the cap compromises its safety and security mission.
The Government Accountability Office must study and report on: (1) the feasibility and implications of repealing restrictions on issuing licenses for certain nuclear facilities to an alien or foreign entity, and (2) the impact of the elimination of mandatory hearings for uncontested licensing and construction permit applications under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.
The NRC must: (1) follow specified procedures when reviewing an application for an early site permit, construction permit, operating license, or combined construction permit and operating license for a nuclear production or utilization facility; and (2) initiate a rulemaking proceeding to address the regulatory framework for decommissioning nuclear reactors.