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H.R. 1748: Strengthening American Nuclear Competitiveness Act

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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 Mar 10, 2021.

Strengthening American Nuclear Competitiveness Act

This bill requires expedited consideration of certain nuclear technology exports, and it requires the Department of Energy (DOE), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to author specified reports.

Specifically, DOE must expedite consideration of authorization requests regarding the transfer of technology that involves specified low-proliferation-risk reactors to certain foreign countries. The bill also lifts the prohibition on licensing domestic nuclear projects in which U.S. allies invest if license issuance is not detrimental to common defense and security or the health and safety of the public.

DOE must report on U.S. civilian nuclear commerce, including (1) an assessment of practices with respect to the civilian nuclear industry and the impacts of such practices on the industry in domestic and foreign commerce, (2) a comparison of U.S. practices to the practices of foreign countries with respect to their own civilian nuclear industry, and (3) recommendations to improve the competitiveness of U.S. civilian nuclear commerce.

The NRC must report on (1) licensing issues or requirements relating to the use of nuclear energy for nonelectric applications, and (2) advanced manufacturing and construction techniques for nuclear energy projects.

The GAO must report on actions by DOE regarding the retrospective risk pooling program that requires nuclear suppliers to help cover the contingent cost of certain nuclear incidents.