Federal Legislation Calls For Nuclear Power Purchase Agreement Program

August 10, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
August 10, 2021

Reps. Elaine Luria, D-Va., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., introduced legislation that establishes an up to 40-year-long nuclear power purchase agreement program at the Department of Energy (DOE) and directs the Secretary of Energy to enter into one or more agreements to purchase nuclear power from reactors licensed after January 2020.

The bill, H.R.4834, also requires the Secretary of Energy to enter into one national security-related nuclear power purchase agreement prior to 2026 to provide reliable and resilient power in remote off-grid and emergency scenarios.

Luria and Newhouse were joined by Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, and Scott Peters, D-Calif., in sponsoring the bill, which was introduced in late July.

The Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Clear Path, the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council, the American Nuclear Society, the Nuclear Energy Institute, NuScale Power and the Nuclear Innovation Alliance. 

In May 2021, NuScale Power and Washington State’s Grant County Public Utility District on announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the deployment of NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology in Central Washington State.

In January, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems and NuScale Power signed agreements to facilitate the development of the Carbon Free Power Project that would deploy NuScale’s SMR design at the Idaho National Laboratory. Energy Northwest has the option to operate the SMR plant.