NEI commends senate appropriations panel’s used fuel management proposal

The Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee marked up its appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 today. The markup includes language supporting consolidation of used nuclear fuel at one or more storage sites. It also mimics the House by rejecting the administration’s attempt to impose new charges on nuclear energy for the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning fund.

Marvin Fertel, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, made the following remarks in reaction to the markup.

“The Nuclear Energy Institute commends the subcommittee for taking seriously the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future to begin moving used nuclear fuel from nuclear plant sites into consolidated storage facilities. Doing so is an important first step to meet the federal government’s contractual obligation to remove used reactor fuel from decommissioned and operating nuclear power plants as the government was required to begin by 1998.

“The nuclear industry has long supported consolidated storage in a supportive community as part of a national used-fuel management program. While important, consolidated storage is only part of a comprehensive used fuel program.

“NEI urges others in Congress to consider broader legislation recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission, including our continued need for geologic disposal. In that regard, NEI continues to support licensing work on the Yucca Mountain repository.

“Equally importantly, the subcommittee acted fairly and did not follow the administration’s request to levy another tax on nuclear energy companies that have already met their legal obligation in funding the Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund program. It is patently unfair for the administration to try to re-impose this tax on the industry.”