Legislation aimed at revitalising the US nuclear energy programme will be introduced soon by Senator Pete Domenici (Republican, New Mexico), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Energy & Water Development Subcommittee.

Domenici has not yet released details about the bill, but he told a meeting of the National Academy of Engineering on 9 February that it will assure a continued supply of nuclear energy, encourage construction of new nuclear plants, treat nuclear energy on a level playing field with other energy sources, identify solutions for spent fuel, and further streamline the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Domenici said the electricity crisis plaguing California may encourage Congress to move ahead with energy legislation and said he remains optimistic that “nuclear energy will be one of the areas of emphasis.”