U.S. Nuclear Foreign Ownership Policy Ready for a Refreshed Interpretation

Synopsis: While the United States remains the global leader in nuclear energy generation and technology, the nuclear energy industry is seeing explosive growth abroad. In the past several years, foreign nuclear companies have expressed interest in purchasing existing reactors and building new ones in the U.S. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is faced with the challenge of balancing competing goals: reducing carbon emissions through new, potentially safer technologies while complying with the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) restriction on foreign ownership of U.S. nuclear reactors. Recent actions have pushed the Commission to reassess this balance. This article proposes a path forward for the Commission to provide clarity in this area of law and to encourage investment in the U.S. nuclear sector.

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