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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about the role safe nuclear energy can play in moving our country toward a more secure energy future.

Given the economic, national security, and environmental threats that we face, we need a comprehensive energy policy. In this regard, safe nuclear energy clearly has emerged as an important player in our search for stable and domestic energy sources with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

A cleaner energy economy will spur innovation in, and accelerate the shift to, clean and domestic energy sources. It will create a new industrial sector employing millions of Americans in the research, development, and commercialization of new energy technologies. And it will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil from unstable regions of the world and cleaner energy technologies will help us get there.

Finally, as we try to emerge from perhaps our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, we need an ``all of the above'' solution to jump-start our economy and create new jobs. Beyond renewables and natural gas, this also means next generation nuclear energy.

That is why I am introducing the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Research Initiative Improvement Act today. This bill would authorize the Department of Energy to carry out a research, development, and demonstration program to reduce manufacturing and construction costs of safe nuclear reactors. It would support research in areas critical for us to achieve these goals, while also protecting national security. For example, it would support research into: modular and small-scale reactors, balance-of-plant issues, cost-efficient manufacturing, licensing issues, and enhanced proliferation controls.

In light of the disaster at the Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan, it is evident a new era of safe nuclear energy development is needed: one with enhanced safeguards and more agile manufacturing and operating capabilities. My bill seeks to achieve those objectives.

Nuclear power's energy security and environmental benefits have earned this industry an important place at the table. It is my hope that we can build new, safe nuclear plants over the next decade to create jobs and build a cleaner, more secure tomorrow. My bill would help us accomplish these goals.

I would like to thank Senator Bingaman and Senator Murkowski for joining me in introducing this bill.


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