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NEI Policy Priorities

During the 113th Congress, NEI is focusing on these priorities:

  • Working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to ensure the agency develops processes and procedures in a timely and systematic way that are focused on safety.

  • Monitoring tax and budget issues to:

    • ensure there is no change in tax rate on earnings for nuclear energy facility decommissioning trust funds.

    • prevent further taxation of electric companies for decommissioning of federal government uranium enrichment plants.

    • protect funding allocated for production tax credits for construction of new nuclear energy facilities.

  • Supporting the development of an integrated used nuclear fuel management strategy, consisting of these basic elements:

    • A new management and disposal organization dedicated solely to executing a high-level radioactive waste program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed.

    • Access to the annual collections and corpus of the Nuclear Waste Fund for their intended purpose, without reliance on the annual appropriations process but with appropriate congressional oversight.

    • Completion of the Yucca Mountain repository license review. Nuclear electric consumers deserve to know whether Yucca Mountain is a safe site for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste, as billions of dollars and years of independent scientific research suggest.

    • A consolidated storage facility for used nuclear fuel and DOE’s high-level radioactive waste in a willing host community and state, while making substantial progress toward developing the Yucca Mountain site and/or a second geologic repository. A consolidated storage facility would enable the DOE or a new management entity to move used nuclear fuel from decommissioned plants and operating plants long before a repository or recycling facilities begin operating. Used fuel from decommissioned commercial reactor sites without an operating reactor should have priority when shipping commercial used fuel to the storage facility.

    • Research, development and demonstration on improved or advanced fuel cycle technologies to close the nuclear fuel cycle, thereby potentially reducing the volume, heat and toxicity of byproducts placed in the repository, recognizing that a geologic repository will be required for all fuel cycles. All funds for this RD&D must come from DOE’s budget and not the Nuclear Waste Fund. In addition to RD&D, the NRC should develop a regulatory framework for the licensing of recycling facilities.

    • Supporting NRC’s promulgation of a temporary storage rule and an eventual legislative determination of waste confidence, supported by a sustainable federal program founded on the elements above.

  • Achieving greater alignment, coordination and support among executive branch agencies to support U.S. participation in the global nuclear energy market, including all 123 agreements and revisions of the DOE’s 810 export control regulations.

  • Enabling the development and building of new nuclear plants by:

    • continuing to work with the NRC to develop a stable, predictable licensing platform

    • preserving the loan guarantee program authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and maintaining efforts to make the DOE program a workable financing platform

    • ensuring constructive congressional oversight

    • encouraging the development of innovative small modular reactors.