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Idaho’s two congressmen introduced a bill Wednesday meant to encourage research into nuclear power at Idaho National Laboratory and the nation’s other national labs.

Sponsored by U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, the Next Generation Nuclear Advancement Act of 2020 would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish an “Integrated Energy Systems Program,” whose goals would be to increase energy production and efficiency, develop systems integrating nuclear energy with renewables and fossil fuels, and “expand the use of emissions-reducing energy technologies into nonelectric sectors to achieve significant reductions in environmental emissions.”

Possible research areas for the program would include looking at ways to expand the use of emission-reducing technology, increasing hydrogen production and research into nuclear and thermal energy. It would also direct DOE to continue the Light Water Reactor Sustainability program and come up with a 10-year Nuclear Energy Strategic Plan.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.

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