Congresswoman Elaine Luria Secures Funding to Modernize Nuclear Energy & Water Infrastructure

August 1, 2020
Press Release
House-Passed Appropriations Bill Advances Coastal Virginia Priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Luria announced House passage of significant funding for energy and infrastructure concerns, such as developing advanced nuclear energy programs and improving water infrastructure.

Congresswoman Luria played an instrumental role in securing these funds in H.R. 7617, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. This omnibus spending package allocates funds for Fiscal Year 2021, which spans from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021.

H.R. 7617 will help improve nuclear energy development by allocating $1.44 billion in FY21 and an additional $1.25 billion in emergency funds for nuclear energy. It would also include report language to prioritize optimizing operations within Medium Energy Nuclear Physics. In addition, Congresswoman Luria cosponsored an amendment to provide $2 million to renovate and expand the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. CEBAF is the site of groundbreaking nuclear research.

“As a naval officer who operated nuclear reactors on aircraft carriers, I know that nuclear power must be part of any solution to transitioning to a clean energy future,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “I am pleased to see that this bill makes vital investments in our nuclear infrastructure, which will ultimately strengthen our national security and economy.”

“Building on the leadership of Ms. Luria in championing nuclear energy, this bill invests in research, development, and demonstration activities that develop the next generation of clean and safe reactors, further improve the safety and economic viability of our current reactor fleet, and contribute to the nation’s long-term leadership in the global nuclear power industry,” said Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur.

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act also provides significant funding for Army Corps of Engineers projects to improve water infrastructure. These include:

  • Construction: $2.6 billion in FY21 and an additional $10 billion in emergency funds;
    • Construction – Coastal Navigation: $150 million in additional funding for navigation, $150 million above the budget request.
  • Operation & Maintenance: $3.84 billion in FY21 and an additional $5 billion in emergency funds;

“Our community needs resilient infrastructure to thrive economically,” said Congresswoman Luria. “That is why I advocated for robust funding to bolster the development and maintenance of water infrastructure throughout Coastal Virginia and our nation.”

Since taking office in 2019, Congresswoman Luria has been a firm supporter of promoting nuclear energy development and improving maritime infrastructure. Last June, Congresswoman Luria introduced the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act to modernize our nuclear power programs. In an FY2020 appropriations bill, Congresswoman Luria helped bring $15.965 million in funding for the maintenance of Norfolk Harbor and $60 million for inland waterway maintenance.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.