Washington, D.C.---Congressman Jim Matheson's effort to support research into minimizing water usage in new nuclear power plants is part of a bipartisan nuclear energy research bill. The legislation—HR 5866—the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 2010—is expected to pass the House Monday.
Matheson is a member of the House Science and Technology Committee which advanced the bill this summer.
"Climate change and the growing demand for electricity dictate that nuclear power is an important part of our energy future," said Matheson. "Current technology requires large amounts of water which, in the West, is a scarce and often over-allocated resource. We need to look at alternative cooling methods."
Matheson's language also provides data to assist states with nuclear power plants in identifying alternative cooling mechanisms.
Matheson said HR 5866 advances Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), which have the potential to reduce capital costs and the default risk of nuclear energy providers while increasing the safety and reliability of nuclear generation. It also creates a Fuel Cycle R&D program at the Department of Energy that will take a comprehensive approach to waste management.