Rep. Stephanie Barnard introduces bill to help advanced nuclear reactor technology

Rep. Stephanie Barnard has introduced a bill that would encourage the use of advanced nuclear reactor technology in Washington state.

When developing the state’s strategic energy goals, House Bill 1584 would require advanced nuclear reactor technology to be considered, along with other carbon-neutral energy alternatives.

“I’m excited my bill helps expand this important energy resource,” said Barnard, R-Pasco. “Advanced nuclear reactor technology is price competitive with other renewables. Because it’s reliable and can be used on a large scale, nuclear energy can reduce our dependence on carbon-producing energy supplies.”

The bipartisan measure would also require the Department of Commerce to maximize federal and other non-state funding to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, emerging energy technologies, and other activities of benefit to the state’s overall energy future.

Barnard, who is a member of the House Environment and Energy Committee, says the state’s ambitious decarbonization goals need to include meaningful and durable support from state government regulatory agencies. She further noted the state’s CETA goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045 is unachievable without deployable, carbon-free, baseload generation.

“We need to keep the lights on. This clean technology provides stable and dispatchable energy to our grid while meeting increased demand.

“With today’s energy challenges, including skyrocketing fossil fuel prices, alternative non-emission-producing sources like advanced nuclear energy need to be expanded. I look forward to seeing this bill move through the legislative process,” concluded Barnard.

House Bill 1584 has been scheduled for a public hearing in the House Environment and Energy Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The 105-day 2023 legislative session began Monday, Jan. 9.


Washington State House Republican Communications