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H.R. 1760: Advanced Nuclear Fuel Availability Act

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 14, 2019 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 1760


March 14, 2019

(for himself and Mr. McNerney) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To require the Secretary of Energy to establish and carry out a program to support the availability of HA–LEU for domestic commercial use, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Advanced Nuclear Fuel Availability Act.





The Secretary shall establish and carry out, through the Office of Nuclear Energy, a program to support the availability of HA–LEU for domestic commercial use.


Program elements

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary—


may provide financial assistance to assist commercial entities to design and license transportation packages for HA–LEU, including canisters for metal, gas, and other HA–LEU compositions;


shall, to the extent practicable—


by January 1, 2022, have commercial entities submit such transportation package designs to the Commission for certification by the Commission under part 71 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations; and


encourage the Commission to have such transportation package designs so certified by the Commission by January 1, 2024;


not later than January 1, 2021, shall submit to Congress a report on the Department’s uranium inventory that may be available to be processed to HA–LEU for purposes of such program, which may not include any uranium allocated by the Secretary for use in support of the atomic energy defense activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration;


not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and biennially thereafter through September 30, 2026, shall conduct a survey of stakeholders to estimate the quantity of HA–LEU necessary for domestic commercial use for each of the 5 subsequent years;


shall assess options available for the Secretary to acquire HA–LEU for such program, including an assessment, for each such option, of the cost and amount of time required;


shall establish a consortium, which may include entities involved in any stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, to partner with the Department to support the availability of HA–LEU for domestic commercial use, including by—


providing information to the Secretary for purposes of surveys conducted under paragraph (4); and


purchasing HA–LEU made available to members of the consortium by the Secretary under the program;


shall, prior to acquiring HA–LEU under paragraph (8), in coordination with the consortium established pursuant to paragraph (6), develop a schedule for cost recovery of HA–LEU made available to members of the consortium pursuant to paragraph (8);


may, beginning not later than 3 years after the establishment of a consortium under paragraph (6), acquire HA–LEU, in order, to the extent practicable, to make such HA–LEU available to members of the consortium beginning not later than January 1, 2026, in amounts that are consistent, to the extent practicable, with the quantities estimated under the surveys conducted under paragraph (4); and


shall develop, in consultation with the Commission, criticality benchmark data to assist the Commission in—


the licensing and regulation of category II spent nuclear material fuel fabrication and enrichment facilities under part 70 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations; and


certification of transportation packages under part 71 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations.


Applicability of USEC Privatization Act

The requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 3112(d)(2) of the USEC Privatization Act (42 U.S.C. 2297h–10(d)(2)) shall apply to a sale or transfer of HA–LEU by the Secretary to a member of the consortium under this section.




Transportation package design


Cost share

The Secretary shall ensure that not less than 20 percent of the costs of design and license activities carried out pursuant to subsection (b)(1) are paid by a non-Federal entity.


Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsection (b)(1)—


$1,500,000 for fiscal year 2020;


$1,500,000 for fiscal year 2021; and


$1,500,000 for fiscal year 2022.


DOE acquisition of HA–LEU

The Secretary may not make commitments under this section (including cooperative agreements (used in accordance with section 6305 of title 31, United States Code), purchase agreements, guarantees, leases, service contracts, or any other type of commitment) for the purchase or other acquisition of HA–LEU unless funds are specifically provided for such purposes in advance in subsequent appropriations Acts, and only to the extent that the full extent of anticipated costs stemming from such commitments is recorded as an obligation up front and in full at the time it is made.


Other costs

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, in carrying out this section, the Secretary shall use amounts otherwise authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary.



The authority of the Secretary to carry out the program under this section shall expire on September 30, 2034.


Report to Congress

Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report that includes—


identification of updates to regulations, certifications, and other regulatory policies that the Commission determines are necessary in order for HA–LEU to be commercially available, including—


guidance for material control and accountability of category II special nuclear material;


certifications relating to transportation packaging for HA–LEU; and


licensing of enrichment, conversion, and fuel fabrication facilities for HA–LEU, and associated physical security plans for such facilities;


a description of such updates; and


a timeline to complete such updates.



In this Act:



The term Commission means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.



The term Department means Department of Energy.



The term HA–LEU means high-assay low-enriched uranium.


High-assay low-enriched uranium

The term high-assay low-enriched uranium means uranium having an assay greater than 5.0 percent and less than 20.0 percent enrichment of the uranium-235 isotope.



The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.