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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 11, 2017.
Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017
This bill amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to revise the objectives of the civilian nuclear energy research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs of the Department of Energy (DOE) to emphasize research infrastructure and private sector participation.
By December 31, 2017, DOE shall determine the mission need for a versatile reactor-based fast neutron source, which shall operate as a national user facility.
DOE shall carry out a program for enhancing the capability to develop new reactor technologies through high-performance computation modeling and simulation techniques.
DOE shall also carry out a program to: (1) enable the testing and demonstration of reactor concepts proposed and funded by the private sector, and (2) leverage the technical expertise of relevant federal agencies and national laboratories to minimize the time required to enable construction and operation of privately funded experimental reactors at national laboratories or other DOE-owned sites.
Within 1 year of this bill's enactment, DOE must submit to Congress 2 specified alternative 10-year budget plans for civilian nuclear energy research and development by the DOE.