Lankford and Mullin offer support for advancement of more nuclear power


Oklahoma U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Markwayne Mullin were part of the U.S. Senate’s overwhelming approval of what is described as a “major energy bill” that could mean more approval of more nuclear power to be built across the country.

The vote Tuesday was 88-2 and Lankford and Mullin were among the 88 senators who voted to send the bill to President Biden’s desk this week.

Officially, S. 870 was described as a bill to authorize appropriations for the United States Fire Administration and firefighter assistance grant programs, to advance the benefits of nuclear energy, and for other purposes.

Had former Sen. Jim Inhofe still been in the Senate, he likely would have been a big proponent of the effort. In recent years, before his departure from the Senate, Inhofe was a strong advocate for more nuclear energy across the U.S.

The bill approved this week with bipartisan support was seen as a win for the nuclear power industry. It will supposedly make construction of nuclear power plants faster and also less costly. It will also reduce fees for companies wanting to build the nuclear reactors.

As for how much faster for development, it will go from years and years of regulatory filings and approval to a 25-month timeline for approval. Part of it will also give only 18 months for environmental review.

One strong supporter was Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R-W.Va.).

““America can and should be a leader when it comes to deploying nuclear energy technologies, and this bipartisan legislation puts us on a path to achieve that goal,” she said in a written statement issued last year.

One impetus for approval might have been a recent report which claimed the U.S. remained up to 15 years behind China in development of high-tech nuclear power.

The report by Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute, stated China has 27 nuclear reactors under construction with average construction timelines of about seven years. The development claimed the report, gives Beijing an edge.

“China’s rapid deployment of ever-more modern nuclear power plants over time produces significant scale economies and learning-by-doing effects, and this suggests that Chinese enterprises will gain an advantage at incremental innovation in this sector going forward,” the report said.

Source: The Hill