Gordon’s bill, the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 2010, promotes work on Small Modular Reactors, reactors that are significantly smaller and present much lower up-front costs than large traditional nuclear power plants. SMRs have the potential to increase the safety and reliability of nuclear generation while making it more cost effective for nuclear energy providers.
The bill also authorizes research into technologies to prolong the life of the United States' 104 existing commercial reactors, which currently provide 20 percent of the country's power and 70 percent of its emissions-free power.
This bill also devotes resources to addressing the safety issues associated with storage and disposal of nuclear waste. A new fuel cycle research program at the Department of Energy will take a comprehensive approach to safe waste management, including reprocessing technologies and advanced storage methods.
Gordon has been a leader on responsible nuclear waste disposal policy, opposing efforts to process other countries’ nuclear waste in Tennessee and passing the Radioactive Import Deterrence Act to limit imports of foreign waste.
The Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act was based on broad bipartisan efforts from the Committee of Science and Technology.
“When I became the Committee’s chairman in 2007, I wanted it to become the committee of good ideas and consensus,” said Gordon. “This bill is just one of the legislative accomplishments we’ve achieved by working in that spirit.”
In the current congress, Gordon has championed legislative efforts from tornado research to oil spill cleanup technology to national cybersecurity. The House reauthorized Gordon's landmark bill the America COMPETES Act earlier this year to protect America’s economic competitiveness by investing in research and science, technology, engineering and math education.http://www.dnj.com/article/20101201/NEWS01/101201026/1002/House+Passes+Gordon%E2%80%99s+Nuclear+Energy+Bill