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Scoop: Nuclear bill falters as lawmakers finalize NDAA

Nov 28, 2023
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

Capito earlier this month. Photo: Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

The ADVANCE Act has dropped out of defense authorization bill negotiations, Nick has learned.

Why it matters: The bipartisan advanced nuclear legislation has robust support in the Senate and with industry, but it's fallen victim to a process dispute with the House.

  • Lawmakers are making last-ditch efforts to get it into the final NDAA.

Driving the news: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told Nick this afternoon that ADVANCE is "not included" in the NDAA as of right now.

  • "There's negotiations going on," Capito said. "It's not over until it's over."
  • Capito, the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a lead sponsor of the nuclear bill, said she still sees "some potential" to get it tacked onto the defense bill.
  • But lawmakers are holding a formal conference on the NDAA tomorrow. Capito said that's effectively the deadline, with committee leaders hoping to finalize the bill as soon as this week.

Flashback: Capito and EPW Chair Tom Carper got the bill included in the Senate's version of the NDAA back in July.

  • It would cut licensing fees for advanced nuclear reactors in hopes of speeding deployment and authorize new money to clean up contaminated sites.
  • Their counterparts on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, however, raised procedural concerns.
  • An E&C subcommittee has marked up similar legislation, but it hasn't moved out of the full committee yet.
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