June 18, 2024

Ricketts Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Nuclear Energy Bill

June 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, celebrated Senate passage of the ADVANCE Act. The bipartisan legislation, passed as a part of the Fire Grants and Safety Act, would help position the United States as the undisputed international leader for nuclear energy technologies.

The Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act is led by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ricketts. The bill previously passed the House of Representatives. With today’s Senate passage, it heads to the President’s desk.

“The ADVANCE Act will help ensure American energy independence and security,” Senator Ricketts said. “This bipartisan bill will facilitate America’s nuclear leadership, modernize current technology, and improve the environment. It will also benefit operating reactors like Nebraska’s own Cooper Nuclear Station and assist with decommissioning of reactors like Fort Calhoun. President Biden should sign it.”



  • Empowers the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to lead in international forums to develop regulations for advanced nuclear reactors.
  • Directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to improve its process to approve the export of American technology to international markets.
  • Reduces regulatory costs for companies seeking to license advanced nuclear reactor technologies.
  • Creates a prize to incentivize the successful deployment of next-generation nuclear reactor technologies.
  • Requires the NRC to develop a pathway to enable the timely licensing of nuclear facilities at brownfield and retired fossil-fuel energy generation sites.
  • Directs the NRC to establish an accelerated licensing review process to site and construct reactors at existing nuclear sites.
  • Modernizes outdated rules that restrict international investment.
  • Directs the NRC to establish an initiative to enhance preparedness to qualify and license advanced nuclear fuels.
  • Tasks the NRC to identify and incorporate advanced manufacturing techniques to build nuclear reactors better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.
  • Provides flexibility for the NRC to budget and manage organizational support activities to ensure the NRC is prepared to address NRC staff issues associated with an aging workforce.
  • Provides the NRC Chair the tools to hire and retain exceptionally well-qualified individuals to review and approve advanced nuclear reactor licenses successfully and safely.
  • Requires the NRC to update its Mission Statement to reflect modern beneficial use of nuclear material and energy.
  • Mandates the NRC to establish a licensing structure to support an efficient, timely, and predictable regulatory review.
  • Charges the NRC to streamline the NEPA environmental review process.

In addition to Ricketts, Capito, Carper, and Whitehouse, cosponsors of the ADVANCE Act includeSenators John Barrasso (R-WY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Joe Manchin (I-WV), Jim Risch (R-ID), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Bill text can be found here.