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                                                      Calendar No. 153
115th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {      115-115

======================================================================



 
         NUCLEAR ENERGY INNOVATION AND CAPABILITIES ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                 June 21, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                          [To accompany S. 97]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 97) to enable civilian research and 
development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private 
and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical 
knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 97 is to enable civilian research and 
development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private 
and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical 
knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science.

                          Background and Need

    Civil nuclear power today relies on light-water reactor 
technology that was originally developed in the 1950s for use 
in U.S. Navy submarines. Although there was ample experience in 
designing, constructing, and operating these light-water 
reactors, by the 1960s scientists were exploring advanced non-
light-water reactor designs that have potential advantages over 
light-water reactors in proliferation resistance, thermal 
efficiency, reliability, fuel utilization, nuclear waste 
yields, inherent safety features, and non-commercial 
applications. Between 1951 and 1974, the U.S. Atomic Energy 
Commission (AEC) experimented on light-water and advanced non-
light-water nuclear reactors, taking over 52 different reactors 
from paper concept to demonstration at the AEC's National 
Reactor Testing Station, which is now the Idaho National 
Laboratory.
    Due to the economic challenges that face large light-water 
reactors, there has been a renewed interest in advanced non-
light-water reactors from the commercial sector. Venture 
capital has flowed into 60 companies in North America working 
on developing advanced reactors of various sizes that are non-
light-water fission reactors or fusion reactors.
    The Department of Energy (DOE) has unique authorities under 
the Atomic Energy Act. The DOE is responsible for maintaining 
nuclear research capabilities, knowledge, and a skilled 
workforce through support of nuclear research and development 
activities. Additionally, DOE has the authority to site and 
regulate research reactors without having to obtain a license 
from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), if the reactor is 
constructed and operated ``under contract with and for the 
account of the'' Department of Energy (42 U.S.C. 2140(b)).
    S. 97 seeks to capitalize on these authorities to promote 
public-private partnerships to research, develop, demonstrate, 
and deploy advance reactor concepts. S.97 would establish the 
National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) to facilitate the 
siting of advanced reactor research demonstration facilities 
through partnerships between DOE and private industry.

                          Legislative History

    Senators Crapo, Booker, Hatch, Murkowski, Risch, and 
Whitehouse introduced S. 97 on January 11, 2017.
    On January 11, 2017, Representative Weber and 14 cosponsors 
introduced a similar measure, H.R. 431, in the House of 
Representatives.
    On January 20, 2017, Representative Lamar Smith and 15 
cosponsors introduced a similar bill, H.R. 589, in the House of 
Representatives. H.R. 589 was passed in the House of 
Representatives by a voice vote, on January 24, 2017. On 
January 30, 2017, H.R. 589 was read twice in the Senate and 
referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
    In the 114th Congress, Senators Crapo, Booker, Hatch, 
Risch, and Whitehouse introduced a similar bill, S. 2461, on 
January 21, 2016.
    The measure was included in Amendment No. 3021, which the 
Senate agreed to on January 28, 2016, as an amendment to S. 
2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which the 
Senate passed, as amended, on April 20, 2016.
    Representative Weber and 20 cosponsors introduced a similar 
bill, H.R. 4084, in the House of Representatives on November 
19, 2015. On February 29, 2016, the House passed H.R. 4084 by a 
voice vote.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in an 
open business session on March 30, 2017, and ordered S. 97 
favorably reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on March 30, 2017, by majority voice vote 
of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 97.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth a short title.

Section 2. Nuclear energy innovation capabilities

    Section 2(a) amends section 951 of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (EPAct, 42 U.S.C. 16271) to refocus the objectives of 
DOE's nuclear energy research and development program. 
Subsection (a) of the amended section 951 restates the mission 
and objectives of DOE's civilian nuclear energy research and 
development work. Subsection (a)(2)(A) directs the Secretary to 
carry out programs to provide research infrastructure in order 
to promote scientific progress in nuclear, chemical, and 
materials science engineering. Subsection (a) also provides 
direction to DOE in relation to its work with private industry, 
the National Laboratories, and institutions of higher 
education, including supporting technology transfer and 
enabling public-private partnerships. Subsection (b) defines 
relevant terms.
    Subsection (b) deletes the Nuclear Power 2010 program 
authorization from Section 952(c) of EPAct (42 U.S.C. 16272(c)) 
and makes conforming changes.
    Subsection (c) strikes the delegation of authority to the 
Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and 
Technology contained in section 953(a) of EPAct (42 U.S.C. 
16273(a)).
    Subsection (d) deletes the phrase ``as part of a taking 
into consideration effort that emphasizes'' in section 
954(d)(4) of EPAct (42 U.S.C. 16274(d)(4) and inserts ``that 
emphasize.''
    Subsection (e) amends section 955 of EPAct (42 U.S.C. 
16275) by removing a requirement for the Secretary to develop a 
comprehensive plan for the Idaho National Laboratory and 
replacing it with a new subsection (c) regarding versatile 
neutron source. This new provision directs the Secretary to 
assess the mission need for a versatile reactor-based fast 
neutron source to be operated as a national user facility. The 
Secretary is further directed to submit a detailed plan to 
Congress to establish the user facility that would provide fast 
neutron irradiation capabilities, have the capacity for 
upgrades, consider capabilities to support high-temperature 
testing, and provide flexible facilities to accommodate various 
types of fuels, materials, and coolants, including pre- and 
post-irradiation examination capabilities. The plan must 
include a goal for the completion of construction and the 
commencement of operations by December 31, 2025.
    Subsection (f) strikes the delegation of authority to the 
Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and 
Technology contained in section 957 of the EPAct (42 U.S.C. 
16277).
    Subsection (g) amends section 957 of EPAct (42 U.S.C. 
16277) to require the Secretary to carry out a program to 
enhance the capabilities of the United States to develop new 
reactor technologies through high-performance computational 
modeling and simulation. In carrying out the effort, the 
Secretary is directed to coordinate with relevant Federal 
agencies and leverage expertise from the private sector, 
institutions of higher education, and the National 
Laboratories.
    Subsection (h) amends subtitle E of title IX of EPAct (42 
U.S.C. 16271 et seq.) to add a new section 958, to authorize 
the NRIC. The program is broadly authorized to support 
research, development, demonstration, and deployment of a broad 
range of advanced reactor concepts, components, technologies, 
fuels, and materials. The NRIC will allow for the testing and 
demonstration of reactor concepts to be proposed and funded, in 
whole or in part, by the private sector, and would leverage the 
expertise of relevant Federal agencies and the National 
Laboratories. Subsections (d) and (e) of the new section 958 
authorize the Secretary to enter into memoranda of 
understanding with the Chairman of the NRC to share technical 
expertise and to coordinate the research and development 
activities of the DOE with safety mission of the NRC. 
Subsection (f) of the new section 958 requires the Secretary to 
submit to the relevant committees of Congress a report that 
addresses the various internal mechanisms and impacts 
pertaining to NRIC. Subsection (g) of the new section 958 
contains savings clauses to preserve the NRC's existing 
licensing and regulatory authority over demonstration reactors, 
and to make it clear that the NRIC's activities are subject to 
the financial protection and indemnification requirements of 
the Price-Anderson Act.
    Subsection (i) amends subtitle E of title IX of EPAct (42 
U.S.C. 16271 et seq.) to add a new section 959, to require the 
Secretary to develop, and submit to the relevant committees of 
Congress, two 10-year budget plans, one constrained and one 
unconstrained, for the civilian nuclear energy research and 
development activities of the DOE.
    Subsection (j) directs the Secretary to submit a report to 
the relevant committees of Congress on innovative fusion energy 
systems, including the identification of necessary budgetary 
requirements, within 180 days of the Act's enactment.
    Subsection (k) makes conforming changes to the table of 
contents of Subtitle E of Title IX of EPAct (42 U.S.C. 16271).

Section 3. Advanced Nuclear Energy Licensing Cost-Share Grant Program

    Section 3 establishes the Advanced Nuclear Energy Cost-
Share Grant Program to provide, subject to appropriations, 
competitive cost-share grants to applicants for the purpose of 
funding a portion of the NRC fees for pre-application and 
application review activities.
    Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to determine the 
cost-share amount of each grant.
    Subsection (f) authorizes such sums as are necessary to 
carry out the program.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 97 would amend the objectives of Department of Energy 
(DOE) programs related to the research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application of advanced nuclear 
technologies. Based on an analysis of information from DOE and 
the NRC, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost 
$340 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming appropriation 
of the necessary amounts.
    In addition, enacting the bill could affect direct spending 
by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to the extent that that 
agency might participate in activities authorized under the 
bill. CBO estimates, however, that any such changes in that 
agency's net outlays would be negligible. Because S. 97 could 
affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. 
Enacting the bill would not affect or revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 97 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 97 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S.97 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 270 
(energy).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2017      2018      2019      2020      2021      2022    2017-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Estimated Authorization Level............         0        87        88        90        92        93        450
Estimated Outlays........................         0        26        53        80        90        91        340
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
97 will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2018 and that 
the estimated amounts will be appropriated each year. Estimated 
outlays are based on historical spending patterns for the 
affected activities.
    S. 97 would authorize DOE to support the research and 
development of advanced reactor technologies and to provide 
grants to nonfederal developers of such technologies; those 
grants would cover a portion of the fees charged by the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) for certain costs related to 
licensing such technologies. In carrying out those activities, 
S. 97 would require DOE to collaborate with the national 
laboratories, other federal agencies, universities, and private 
firms. The bill would direct DOE to determine the need for a 
new test reactor to support research and development of 
advanced reactor systems and, if needed, direct the agency to 
construct such a facility by 2025. Finally S. 97 would 
authorize the agency to expand capabilities in the area of 
high-performance computation modeling and simulation 
techniques.
    Under current law, DOE is already pursuing a variety of 
activities to expedite the development and commercial 
deployment of advanced nuclear technologies. Based on an 
analysis of information from the agency about the anticipated 
costs of those activities, CBO estimates that implementing the 
new activities under S. 97 would require appropriations 
totaling $450 million over the 2018-2022 period. That estimate 
is in line with the total amount of funding provided by the 
Congress for a previous six-year effort, now largely completed, 
to support the development, certification, and licensing of 
small modular reactors (another type of advanced nuclear 
technology). Assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts, 
CBO estimates that outlays would total $340 million over the 
2018-2022 period and $110 million after 2022.
    This estimate does not include any costs related to 
constructing either a test reactor or an advanced nuclear 
reactor, which CBO estimates would total billions of dollars. 
In general, CBO expects that any federal spending related to 
such projects would be limited to a portion of the construction 
costs. Private firms would likely bear a significant portion of 
the construction costs and any spending by DOE for such a 
project would be subject to appropriation. Based on information 
from DOE, NRC, and the nuclear industry about anticipated 
timeframes for developing underlying technologies and licensing 
advanced reactors, CBO expects that any spending to construct 
such facilities would be negligible over the 2018-2022 period 
covered by this estimate. Furthermore, based on an analysis of 
information from DOE, including reports issued by committees 
that advise the agency on issues related to nuclear energy, CBO 
expects the agency is unlikely to build a federally owned test 
reactor under current law.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: CBO estimates that enacting 
S. 97 could affect direct spending by TVA, which owns nuclear 
assets and frequently participates in industry-led efforts to 
develop nuclear technologies. By law, TVA sells electricity at 
prices sufficient to recover any costs over the useful life of 
the investment or program. Based on an analysis of information 
from TVA, CBO expects that any spending for the advanced 
nuclear technology projects over 2018-2027 period would 
primarily be for research and development activities, which are 
treated as operating expenses and recovered quickly in TVA's 
rates. Thus, CBO estimates that the net effect on TVA's direct 
spending would be negligible over that period.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 97 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 97 contains 
no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 97.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 97, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 97, as reported, does not contain any congressionally 
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    Executive Communications were not requested by the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in the 115th 
Congress.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the original bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing 
law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     THE ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005

Public Law 109-58

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title. --This Act may be cited as the ``Energy 
Policy Act of 2005''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
is as follows:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IX--RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle E--Nuclear Energy

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 957  [Alternatives to industrial radioactive sources.] High-
          performance computation and supportive research.
958.  Enabling nuclear energy innovation.
959.  Budget plan.
     * * * * * * *


                      Subtitle VI--Nuclear Matters


     * * * * * * *


            Subtitle C--Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project


SEC. 641. PROJECT ESTABLISHMENT.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish a project 
to be known as the ``Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project'' 
(referred to in this subtitle as the ``Project'').
    (b) Content.--The Project shall consist of the research, 
development, design, construction, and operation of a prototype 
plant, including a nuclear reactor that--
          (1) is based on research and development activities 
        supported by the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems 
        Initiative under [section 942(d)] section 952(c); and
          (2) shall be used--
                  (A) to generate electricity;
                  (B) to produce hydrogen; or
                  (C) both to generate electricity and to 
                produce hydrogen.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                       Subtitle E--Nuclear Energy

[SEC. 951. NUCLEAR ENERGY.

    [(a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct programs of 
civilian nuclear energy research, development, demonstration, 
and commercial application, including activities described in 
this subtitle. Programs under this subtitle shall take into 
consideration the following objectives:
          [(1) Enhancing nuclear power's viability as part of 
        the United States energy portfolio.
          [(2) Providing the technical means to reduce the 
        likelihood of nuclear proliferation.
          [(3) Maintaining a cadre of nuclear scientists and 
        engineers.
          [(4) Maintaining National Laboratory and university 
        nuclear programs, including their infrastructure.
          [(5) Supporting both individual researchers and 
        multidisciplinary teams of researchers to pioneer new 
        approaches in nuclear energy, science, and technology.
          [(6) Developing, planning, constructing, acquiring, 
        and operating special equipment and facilities for the 
        use of researchers.
          [(7) Supporting technology transfer and other 
        appropriate activities to assist the nuclear energy 
        industry, and other users of nuclear science and 
        engineering, including activities addressing 
        reliability, availability, productivity, component 
        aging, safety, and security of nuclear power plants.
          [(8) Reducing the environmental impact of nuclear 
        energy-related activities.
    [(b) Authorization of Appropriations for CORE Programs.--
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to 
carry out nuclear energy research, development, demonstration, 
and commercial application activities, including activities 
authorized under this subtitle, other than those described in 
subsection (c)--
          [(1) $330,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
          [(2) $355,000,000 for fiscal year 2008; and
          [(3) $495,000,000 for fiscal year 2009.
    [(c) Nuclear Infrastructure and Facilities.--There are 
authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out 
activities under section 955--
          [(1) $135,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
          [(2) $140,000,000 for fiscal year 2008; and
          [(3) $145,000,000 for fiscal year 2009.
    [(d) Allocations.--From amounts authorized under subsection 
(a), the following sums are authorized:
          [(1) For activities under section 953--
                  [(A) $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
                  [(B) $155,000,000 for fiscal year 2008; and
                  [(C) $275,000,000 for fiscal year 2009.
          [(2) For activities under section 954--
                  [(A) $43,600,000 for fiscal year 2007;
                  [(B) $50,100,000 for fiscal year 2008; and
                  [(C) $56,000,000 for fiscal year 2009.
          [(3) For activities under section 957, $6,000,000 for 
        each of fiscal years 2007 through 2009.
    [(e) Limitation.--None of the funds authorized under this 
section may be used to decommission the Fast Flux Test 
Facility.]

SEC. 951. NUCLEAR ENERGY.

    (a) Mission.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall carry out 
        programs of civilian nuclear research, development, 
        demonstration, and commercial application, including 
        activities under this subtitle.
          (2) Considerations.--The programs carried out under 
        paragraph (1) shall take into consideration the 
        following objectives:
                  (A) Providing research infrastructure to 
                promote scientific progress and enable users 
                from academia, the National Laboratories, and 
                the private sector to make scientific 
                discoveries relevant for nuclear, chemical, and 
                materials science engineering.
                  (B) Maintaining nuclear energy research and 
                development programs at the National 
                Laboratories and institutions of higher 
                education, including infrastructure at the 
                National Laboratories and institutions of 
                higher education.
                  (C) Providing the technical means to reduce 
                the likelihood of nuclear proliferation.
                  (D) Increasing confidence margins for public 
                safety of nuclear energy systems.
                  (E) Reducing the environmental impact of 
                activities relating to nuclear energy.
                  (F) Supporting technology transfer from the 
                National Laboratories to the private sector.
                  (G) Enabling the private sector to partner 
                with the National Laboratories to demonstrate 
                novel reactor concepts for the purpose of 
                resolving technical uncertainty associated with 
                the objectives described in subparagraphs (A) 
                through (F).
    (b) Definitions.--In this subtitle:
          (1) Advanced nuclear reactor.--The term `advanced 
        nuclear reactor' means--
                  (A) a nuclear fission reactor with 
                significant improvements over the most recent 
                generation of nuclear fission reactors, which 
                may include--
                          (i) inherent safety features;
                          (ii) lower waste yields;
                          (iii) greater fuel utilization;
                          (iv) superior reliability;
                          (v) resistance to proliferation;
                          (vi) increased thermal efficiency; 
                        and
                          (vii) the ability to integrate into 
                        electric and nonelectric applications; 
                        or
                  (B) a nuclear fusion reactor.
          (2) Commission.--The term `Commission' means the 
        Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
          (3) Fast neutron.--The term `fast neutron' means a 
        neutron with kinetic energy above 100 kiloelectron 
        volts.
          (4) National laboratory.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), the term `National 
                Laboratory' has the meaning given the term in 
                section 2.
                  (B) Limitation.--With respect to the Lawrence 
                Livermore National Laboratory, the Los Alamos 
                National Laboratory, and the Sandia National 
                Laboratories, the term `National Laboratory' 
                means only the civilian activities of the 
                laboratory.
                  (5) Neutron flux.--The term `neutron flux' 
                means the intensity of neutron radiation 
                measured as a rate of flow of neutrons applied 
                over an area.
                  (6) Neutron source.--The term `neutron 
                source' means a research machine that provides 
                neutron irradiation services for--
                  (A) research on materials sciences and 
                nuclear physics; and
                  (B) testing of advanced materials, nuclear 
                fuels, and other related components for reactor 
                systems.

SEC. 952. NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH PROGRAMS.

    (a) Nuclear Energy Research Initiative.--The Secretary 
shall carry out a Nuclear Energy Research Initiative for 
research and development related to nuclear energy.
    (b) Nuclear Energy Systems Support Program.--The Secretary 
shall carry out a Nuclear Energy Systems Support Program to 
support research and development activities addressing 
reliability, availability, productivity, component aging, 
safety, and security of existing nuclear power plants.
    [(c) Nuclear Power 2010 Program.--
          [(1) In general.--The Secretary shall carry out a 
        Nuclear Power 2010 Program, consistent with 
        recommendations of the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory 
        Committee of the Department in the report entitled ``A 
        Roadmap to Deploy New Nuclear Power Plants in the 
        United States by 2010'' and dated October 2001.
          [(2) Administration.--The Program shall include--
                  [(A) use of the expertise and capabilities of 
                industry, institutions of higher education, and 
                National Laboratories in evaluation of advanced 
                nuclear fuel cycles and fuels testing;
                  [(B) consideration of a variety of reactor 
                designs suitable for both developed and 
                developing nations;
                  [(C) participation of international 
                collaborators in research, development, and 
                design efforts, as appropriate; and
                  [(D) encouragement for participation by 
                institutions of higher education and industry.]
    [(d)] (c) Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems 
Initiative.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall carry out a 
        Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative to 
        develop an overall technology plan for and to support 
        research and development necessary to make an informed 
        technical decision about the most promising candidates 
        for eventual commercial application.
          (2) Administration.--In conducting the Initiative, 
        the Secretary shall examine advanced proliferation-
        resistant and passively safe reactor designs, including 
        designs that--
                  (A) are economically competitive with other 
                electric power generation plants;
                  (B) have higher efficiency, lower cost, and 
                improved safety compared to reactors in 
                operation on the date of enactment of this Act;
                  (C) use fuels that are proliferation 
                resistant and have substantially reduced 
                production of high-level waste per unit of 
                output; and
                  (D) use improved instrumentation.
    [(e)] (d) Reactor Production of Hydrogen.--The Secretary 
shall carry out research to examine designs for high-
temperature reactors capable of producing large-scale 
quantities of hydrogen.

SEC. 953. ADVANCED FUEL CYCLE INITIATIVE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary[, acting through the 
Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and 
Technology,] shall conduct an advanced fuel recycling 
technology research, development, and demonstration program 
(referred to in this section as the ``program'') to evaluate 
proliferation-resistant fuel recycling and transmutation 
technologies that minimize environmental and public health and 
safety impacts as an alternative to aqueous reprocessing 
technologies deployed as of the date of enactment of this Act 
in support of evaluation of alternative national strategies for 
spent nuclear fuel and the Generation IV advanced reactor 
concepts.
    (b) Annual Review.--The program shall be subject to annual 
review by the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee of the 
Department or other independent entity, as appropriate.
    (c) International Cooperation.--In carrying out the 
program, the Secretary is encouraged to seek opportunities to 
enhance the progress of the program through international 
cooperation.
    (d) Reports.--The Secretary shall submit, as part of the 
annual budget submission of the Department, a report on the 
activities of the program.

SEC. 954. UNIVERSITY NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SUPPORT.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct a program to 
invest in human resources and infrastructure in the nuclear 
sciences and related fields, including health physics, nuclear 
engineering, and radiochemistry, consistent with missions of 
the Department related to civilian nuclear research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application.
    (b) Requirements.--In carrying out the program under this 
section, the Secretary shall--
          (1) conduct a graduate and undergraduate fellowship 
        program to attract new and talented students, which may 
        include fellowships for students to spend time at 
        National Laboratories in the areas of nuclear science, 
        engineering, and health physics with a member of the 
        National Laboratory staff acting as a mentor;
          (2) conduct a junior faculty research initiation 
        grant program to assist universities in recruiting and 
        retaining new faculty in the nuclear sciences and 
        engineering by awarding grants to junior faculty for 
        research on issues related to nuclear energy 
        engineering and science;
          (3) support fundamental nuclear sciences, 
        engineering, and health physics research through a 
        nuclear engineering education and research program;
          (4) encourage collaborative nuclear research among 
        industry, National Laboratories, and universities; and
          (5) support communication and outreach related to 
        nuclear science, engineering, and health physics.
    (c) University National Laboratory Interactions.--The 
Secretary shall conduct--
          (1) a fellowship program for professors at 
        universities to spend sabbaticals at National 
        Laboratories in the areas of nuclear science and 
        technology; and
          (2) a visiting scientist program in which National 
        Laboratory staff can spend time in academic nuclear 
        science and engineering departments.
    (d) Strengthening University Research and Training Reactors 
and Associated Infrastructure.--In carrying out the program 
under this section, the Secretary may support--
          (1) converting research reactors from high-enrichment 
        fuels to low-enrichment fuels and upgrading operational 
        instrumentation;
          (2) consortia of universities to broaden access to 
        university research reactors;
          (3) student training programs, in collaboration with 
        the United States nuclear industry, in relicensing and 
        upgrading reactors, including through the provision of 
        technical assistance; and
          (4) reactor improvements [as part of a taking into 
        consideration effort that emphasizes] that emphasize 
        research, training, and education, including through 
        the Innovations in Nuclear Infrastructure and Education 
        Program or any similar program.
    (e) Operations and Maintenance.--Funding for a project 
provided under this section may be used for a portion of the 
operating and maintenance costs of a research reactor at a 
university used in the project.
    (f) Definition.--In this section, the term ``junior 
faculty'' means a faculty member who was awarded a doctorate 
less than 10 years before receipt of an award from the grant 
program described in subsection (b)(2).

SEC. 955. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY CIVILIAN NUCLEAR INFRASTRUCTURE AND 
                    FACILITIES.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall operate and maintain 
infrastructure and facilities to support the nuclear energy 
research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
application programs, including radiological facilities 
management, isotope production, and facilities management.
    (b) Duties.--In carrying out this section, the Secretary 
shall--
          (1) develop an inventory of nuclear science and 
        engineering facilities, equipment, expertise, and other 
        assets at all of the National Laboratories;
          (2) develop a prioritized list of nuclear science and 
        engineering plant and equipment improvements needed at 
        each of the National Laboratories;
          (3) consider the available facilities and expertise 
        at all National Laboratories and emphasize investments 
        which complement rather than duplicate capabilities; 
        and
          (4) develop a timeline and a proposed budget for the 
        completion of deferred maintenance on plant and 
        equipment, with the goal of ensuring that Department 
        programs under this subtitle will be generally 
        recognized to be among the best in the world.
    [(c) Plan.--The Secretary shall develop a comprehensive 
plan for the facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory, 
especially taking into account the resources available at other 
National Laboratories. In developing the plan, the Secretary 
shall--
          [(1) evaluate the facilities planning processes 
        utilized by other physical science and engineering 
        research and development institutions, both in the 
        United States and abroad, that are generally recognized 
        as being among the best in the world, and consider how 
        those processes might be adapted toward developing such 
        facilities plan;
          [(2) avoid duplicating, moving, or transferring 
        nuclear science and engineering facilities, equipment, 
        expertise, and other assets that currently exist at 
        other National Laboratories;
          [(3) consider the establishment of a national 
        transuranic analytic chemistry laboratory as a user 
        facility at the Idaho National Laboratory;
          [(4) include a plan to develop, if feasible, the 
        Advanced Test Reactor and Test Reactor Area into a user 
        facility that is more readily accessible to academic 
        and industrial researchers;
          [(5) consider the establishment of a fast neutron 
        source as a user facility;
          [(6) consider the establishment of new hot cells and 
        the configuration of hot cells most likely to advance 
        research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
        application in nuclear science and engineering, 
        especially in the context of the condition and 
        availability of these facilities elsewhere in the 
        National Laboratories; and
          [(7) include a timeline and a proposed budget for the 
        completion of deferred maintenance on plant and 
        equipment.
    [(d) Transmittal to Congress.--Not later than 1 year after 
the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit 
the plan under subsection (c) to Congress.]
    (c) Versatile Neutron Source.--
          (1) Mission need.--
                  (A) In general.--Not later than December 31, 
                2017, the Secretary shall determine the mission 
                need for a versatile reactor-based fast neutron 
                source, which shall operate as a national user 
                facility.
                  (B) Consultations required.--In carrying out 
                subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consult 
                with the private sector, institutions of higher 
                education, the National Laboratories, and 
                relevant Federal agencies to ensure that the 
                user facility described in subparagraph (A) 
                will meet the research needs of the largest 
                practicable majority of prospective users.
          (2) Establishment.--As soon as practicable after 
        determining the mission need under paragraph (1)(A), 
        the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate 
        committees of Congress a detailed plan for the 
        establishment of the user facility.
          (3) Facility requirements.--
                  (A) Capabilities.--The Secretary shall ensure 
                that the user facility will provide, at a 
                minimum, the following capabilities:
                          (i) Fast neutron spectrum irradiation 
                        capability.
                          (ii) Capacity for upgrades to 
                        accommodate new or expanded research 
                        needs.
                  (B) Considerations.--In carrying out the plan 
                submitted under paragraph (2), the Secretary 
                shall consider the following:
                          (i) Capabilities that support 
                        experimental high-temperature testing.
                          (ii) Providing a source of fast 
                        neutrons at a neutron flux, higher than 
                        that at which current research 
                        facilities operate, sufficient to 
                        enable research for an optimal base of 
                        prospective users.
                          (iii) Maximizing irradiation 
                        flexibility and irradiation volume to 
                        accommodate as many concurrent users as 
                        possible.
                          (iv) Capabilities for irradiation 
                        with neutrons of a lower energy 
                        spectrum.
                          (v) Multiple loops for fuels and 
                        materials testing in different 
                        coolants.
                          (vi) Additional pre-irradiation and 
                        post-irradiation examination 
                        capabilities.
                          (vii) Lifetime operating costs and 
                        lifecycle costs.
          (4) Deadline for establishment.--The Secretary shall, 
        to the maximum extent practicable, complete 
        construction of, and approve the start of operations 
        for, the user facility by not later than December 31, 
        2025.
          (5) Reporting.--The Secretary shall include in the 
        annual budget request of the Department an explanation 
        for any delay in the progress of the Department in 
        completing the user facility by the deadline described 
        in paragraph (4).
          (6) Coordination.--The Secretary shall leverage the 
        best practices for management, construction, and 
        operation of national user facilities from the Office 
        of Science.

SEC. 956. SECURITY OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES.

    The Secretary [, acting through the Director of the Office 
of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology,] shall conduct a 
research and development program on cost-effective technologies 
for increasing--
          (1) the safety of nuclear facilities from natural 
        phenomena; and
          (2) the security of nuclear facilities from 
        deliberate attacks.

[SEC. 957. ALTERNATIVES TO INDUSTRIAL RADIOACTIVE SOURCES.

    [(a) Survey.--
          [(1) In general.--Not later than August 1, 2006, the 
        Secretary shall submit to Congress the results of a 
        survey of industrial applications of large radioactive 
        sources.
          [(2) Administration.--The survey shall--
                  [(A) consider well-logging sources as one 
                class of industrial sources;
                  [(B) include information on current domestic 
                and international Department, Department of 
                Defense, State Department, and commercial 
                programs to manage and dispose of radioactive 
                sources; and
                  [(C) analyze available disposal options for 
                currently deployed or future sources and, if 
                deficiencies are noted for either deployed or 
                future sources, recommend legislative options 
                that Congress may consider to remedy identified 
                deficiencies.
    [(b) Plan.--
          [(1) In general.--In conjunction with the survey 
        conducted under subsection (a), the Secretary shall 
        establish a research and development program to develop 
        alternatives to sources described in subsection (a) 
        that reduce safety, environmental, or proliferation 
        risks to either workers using the sources or the 
        public.
          [(2) Accelerators.--Miniaturized particle 
        accelerators for well-logging or other industrial 
        applications and portable accelerators for production 
        of short-lived radioactive materials at an industrial 
        site shall be considered as part of the research and 
        development efforts.
          [(3) Report.--Not later than August 1, 2006, the 
        Secretary shall submit to Congress a report describing 
        the details of the program plan.]

SEC. 957. HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTATION AND SUPPORTIVE RESEARCH.

    (a) Modeling and Simulation.--The Secretary shall carry out 
a program to enhance the capabilities of the United States to 
develop new reactor technologies through high-performance 
computation modeling and simulation techniques.
    (b) Coordination.--In carrying out the program under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall coordinate with relevant 
Federal agencies as described by the National Strategic 
Computing Initiative established by Executive Order 13702 (80 
Fed. Reg. 46177 (July 29, 2015)), while taking into account the 
following objectives:
          (1) Using expertise from the private sector, 
        institutions of higher education, and the National 
        Laboratories to develop computational software and 
        capabilities that prospective users may access to 
        accelerate research and development of advanced nuclear 
        reactor systems and reactor systems for space 
        exploration.
          (2) Developing computational tools to simulate and 
        predict nuclear phenomena that may be validated through 
        physical experimentation.
          (3) Increasing the utility of the research 
        infrastructure of the Department by coordinating with 
        the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program 
        within the Office of Science.
          (4) Leveraging experience from the Energy Innovation 
        Hub for Modeling and Simulation.
          (5) Ensuring that new experimental and computational 
        tools are accessible to relevant research communities, 
        including private sector entities engaged in nuclear 
        energy technology development.
    (c) Supportive Research Activities.--The Secretary shall 
consider support for additional research activities to maximize 
the utility of the research facilities of the Department, 
including physical processes--
          (1) to simulate degradation of materials and behavior 
        of fuel forms; and
          (2) for validation of computational tools.

SEC. 958. ENABLING NUCLEAR ENERGY INNOVATION.

    (a) National Reactor Innovation Center.--There is 
authorized a program to enable the testing and demonstration of 
reactor concepts to be proposed and funded, in whole or in 
part, by the private sector.
    (b) Technical Expertise.--In carrying out the program under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall leverage the technical 
expertise of relevant Federal agencies and the National 
Laboratories in order to minimize the time required to enable 
construction and operation of privately funded experimental 
reactors at National Laboratories or other Department-owned 
sites.
    (c) Objectives.--The reactors described in subsection (b) 
shall operate to meet the following objectives:
          (1) Enabling physical validation of advanced nuclear 
        reactor concepts.
          (2) Resolving technical uncertainty and increasing 
        practical knowledge relevant to safety, resilience, 
        security, and functionality of advanced nuclear reactor 
        concepts.
          (3) General research and development to improve 
        nascent technologies.
    (d) Sharing Technical Expertise.--In carrying out the 
program under subsection (a), the Secretary may enter into a 
memorandum of understanding with the Chairman of the Commission 
in order to share technical expertise and knowledge through--
          (1) enabling the testing and demonstration of 
        advanced nuclear reactor concepts to be proposed and 
        funded, in whole or in part, by the private sector;
          (2) operating a database to store and share data and 
        knowledge relevant to nuclear science and engineering 
        between Federal agencies and the private sector;
          (3) developing and testing electric and nonelectric 
        integration and energy conversion systems relevant to 
        advanced nuclear reactors;
          (4) leveraging expertise from the Commission with 
        respect to safety analysis; and
          (5) enabling technical staff of the Commission to 
        actively observe and learn about technologies developed 
        under the program.
    (e) Agency Coordination.--The Chairman of the Commission 
and the Secretary shall enter into a memorandum of 
understanding regarding the following:
          (1) Ensuring that--
                  (A) the Department has sufficient technical 
                expertise to support the timely research, 
                development, demonstration, and commercial 
                application by the civilian nuclear industry of 
                safe and innovative advanced nuclear reactor 
                technology; and
                  (B) the Commission has sufficient technical 
                expertise to support the evaluation of 
                applications for licenses, permits, and design 
                certifications and other requests for 
                regulatory approval for advanced nuclear 
                reactors.
          (2) The use of computers and software codes to 
        calculate the behavior and performance of advanced 
        nuclear reactors based on mathematical models of the 
        physical behavior of advanced nuclear reactors.
          (3) Ensuring that--
                  (A) the Department maintains and develops the 
                facilities necessary to enable the timely 
                research, development, demonstration, and 
                commercial application by the civilian nuclear 
                industry of safe and innovative reactor 
                technology; and
                  (B) the Commission has access to the 
                facilities described in subparagraph (A), as 
                needed.
    (f) Reporting Requirements.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        date of enactment of the Nuclear Energy Innovation 
        Capabilities Act of 2017, the Secretary, in 
        consultation with the National Laboratories, relevant 
        Federal agencies, and other stakeholders, shall submit 
        to the appropriate committees of Congress a report 
        assessing the capabilities of the Department to 
        authorize, host, and oversee privately funded 
        experimental advanced nuclear reactors as described in 
        subsection (b).
          (2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph 
        (1) shall address--
                  (A) the safety review and oversight 
                capabilities of the Department, including 
                options to leverage expertise from the 
                Commission and the National Laboratories;
                  (B) options to regulate privately proposed 
                and funded experimental reactors hosted by the 
                Department;
                  (C) potential sites capable of hosting 
                privately funded experimental advanced nuclear 
                reactors;
                  (D) the efficacy of the available contractual 
                mechanisms of the Department to partner with 
                the private sector and Federal agencies, 
                including cooperative research and development 
                agreements, strategic partnership projects, and 
                agreements for commercializing technology;
                  (E) the liability of the Federal Government 
                with respect to the disposal of low-level 
                radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or high-
                level radioactive waste (as those terms are 
                defined in section 2 of the Nuclear Waste 
                Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101));
                  (F) the impact on the aggregate inventory in 
                the United States of low-level radioactive 
                waste, spent nuclear fuel, or high-level 
                radioactive waste (as those terms are defined 
                in section 2 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 
                1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101));
                  (G) potential cost structures relating to 
                physical security, decommissioning, liability, 
                and other long-term project costs; and
                  (H) other challenges or considerations 
                identified by the Secretary.
          (3) Updates.--Once every 2 years, the Secretary shall 
        update relevant provisions of the report submitted 
        under paragraph (1) and submit to the appropriate 
        committees of Congress the update.
    (g) Savings Clauses.--
          (1) Licensing requirement.--Nothing in this section 
        authorizes the Secretary or any person to construct or 
        operate a nuclear reactor for the purpose of 
        demonstrating the suitability for commercial 
        application of the nuclear reactor unless licensed by 
        the Commission in accordance with section 202 of the 
        Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 15 5842).
          (2) Financial protection.--Any activity carried out 
        under this section that involves the risk of public 
        liability shall be subject to the financial protection 
        or indemnification requirements of section 170 of the 
        Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 21 2210) (commonly 
        known as the ``Price-Anderson Act'').

SEC. 959. BUDGET PLAN.

    (a) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 
2017, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and 
Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives 2 
alternative 10-year budget plans for civilian nuclear energy 
research and development by the Secretary, as described in 
subsections (b) through (d).
    (b) Budget Plan Alternative 1.--One of the budget plans 
submitted under subsection (a) shall assume constant annual 
funding for 10 years at the appropriated level for the civilian 
nuclear energy research and development of the Department for 
fiscal year 2016.
    (c) Budget Plan Alternative 2.--One of the budget plans 
submitted under subsection (a) shall be an unconstrained 
budget.
    (d) Inclusions.--Each alternative budget plan submitted 
under subsection (a) shall include--
          (1) a prioritized list of the programs, projects, and 
        activities of the Department to best support the 
        development of advanced nuclear reactor technologies;
          (2) realistic budget requirements for the Department 
        to implement sections 955(c), 957, and 5 958; and
          (3) the justification of the Department for 
        continuing or terminating existing civilian nuclear 
        energy research and development programs.

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