By Nomi Prins, Editor, Inside Wall Street with Nomi Prins
We did not need another reason to be bullish about the biggest energy renaissance in decades.
But Washington just gave us another one…
Last month, a group of U.S. senators introduced a nuclear energy bill – the ADVANCE Act. Co-sponsors include a host of senators across the political landscape.
The bill’s goal is to make America a leader in nuclear energy. That includes helping the U.S. deploy the next generation of nuclear reactors.
Make no mistake, our country is the world’s single biggest producer of nuclear energy. Yet, America’s nuclear industry has been in decline for decades.
With the ADVANCE Act making its way through Congress, though, nuclear could be staging a resurgence.
So, in today’s essay, I’ll explain what’s happening in this sector, and what it means for you and your money.
The ADVANCE Act Could Speed Up America’s Adoption of Nuclear
Building a nuclear reactor in the United States is not easy…
It’s no coincidence that our nation ranks seventh for planned new nuclear plants.
You see, safety is paramount… But too often, companies looking to build nuclear reactors are hamstrung with red tape and costs.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is the agency created by Congress to regulate and authorize nuclear power plants. In order to receive approval from the NRC, applicants today must pay around $300 for each hour of the organization’s time.
That may not seem like much. But keep in mind that these reviews usually take tens of thousands of hours. So the fees add up quickly.
Large companies can easily afford them, but smaller “SMR” developers – many of which are startups – often can’t.
“SMR” stands for “small modular reactor.” It’s a cleaner and smarter solution to today’s bulky nuclear power plants.
As I outlined at my Power Shift 2023 briefing, SMRs are the only realistic solution to permanent energy independence.
The problem is that many SMR companies don’t fit neatly into the NRC’s aged regulatory criteria. After all, it was designed for old and established large reactors, not SMRs.
The good news is that the ADVANCE Act would cut nuclear SMR developers some slack.
The bill would offset some of the costs I mentioned earlier. Those savings could reach up to 50%, according to the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA). And with some amendments, savings could be even higher. For instance, it could defer the fees until after the applicant has a license (and thus the ability to generate revenue).
It would also make navigating the NRC’s licensing process less of a pain. For one, the act would allow SMRs to go through a more specific and streamlined licensing process. That would be a win-win for everyone involved.
The bottom line is that the ADVANCE Act could mark a pivotal moment for the global nuclear energy renaissance.
And I believe the bill has excellent prospects for success.
Let me explain…
First, it’s a bipartisan piece of proposed legislation. It was introduced by five Republican and five Democrat senators.
Co-sponsors include Tom Carper (D-Del.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and a host of other senators across the aisle.
If history is any guide, legislation has the best chance of passing Congress with bipartisan support.
For instance, a recent survey showed that 94.5% of bills that passed the legislature in 2022 were bipartisan.
So the support the ADVANCE Act is receiving from both sides of Congress increases its chances of passing into law.
Second, the ADVANCE Act builds on the recent successes of similar pieces of bipartisan legislation like the CHIPS Act.
President Biden signed the CHIPS Act in an effort to delay China’s development of semiconductors and encourage companies to bring production back to the U.S.
As different as these bills are, they are based on the same idea: to ensure U.S. leadership and technical capability against China’s dominance.
That’s because China is aggressively building out its nuclear sector. For example, it’s setting aside $440 billion for its nuclear program. And China’s president, Xi Jinping, is planning to build 150 new reactors by 2037.
That’s more than the rest of the world has built in the last 35 years. So China’s buildout is leaving the U.S. in the dust.
Thankfully, bills like the ADVANCE Act and technologies like SMR should reverse the course on this trend and bring the U.S. back on track.
And it’s not just this particular bill.
The entire nuclear sector has been getting a lot of traction with U.S. lawmakers lately. Just last week alone, four new nuclear bills were introduced in Congress.
On May 18, Congressman Bob Wittman (R-VA) proposed a House bill to speed up the building of SMRs. Over at the Senate, Congressman Joe Manchin (D-WV) presented the Nuclear Fuel Security Act. This legislation would set up a nuclear fuel security program to “ensure our economic and energy security while simultaneously cutting off our reliance on Russian fuel.”
In other words, this program aims to accelerate America’s adoption of nuclear energy by boosting the domestic production of uranium.
The U.S. might be behind certain nations in the race for nuclear energy… But with many laws on the horizon, that might not be the case for much longer.
All that said, the ongoing resurgence of nuclear power is not limited to the U.S…
In fact, the global energy crisis is bringing about a “sea change” in sentiment about nuclear energy worldwide.
Countries once opposed to nuclear energy are now embracing it as they seek to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and bring their spiraling energy costs under control.
So, in part II of this essay series, I’ll talk about big global developments happening in nuclear power. And I’ll show you a simple way to position yourself to profit as this trend unfolds.
Editor, Inside Wall Street with Nomi Prins
P.S. As the U.S. gears up to increase its nuclear buildout, there’s an opportunity for Main Street investors to get in on this explosive trend.
You see, the ADVANCE Act could unleash a $4 trillion torrent into the SMR world.
And as we said above, both sides of Congress are embracing this technology. That’s because it could be the answer to America’s – and the world’s – energy problems.
Right now, only one firm in America has the federal license to produce SMR. But the good news is, you can get into this company with as little as $2 a share.
For more details about this company, and how it can hand you as much as 20x your money in the long run, click here to watch a special video presentation I put together.