WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) today commended U.S. House and Senate conferees for providing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with an additional $36 million in the current fiscal year to analyze the robustness of security at nuclear power plants and other NRC-licensed facilities.
The appropriation of emergency expenses for the NRC in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks on the United States were included in a $20 billion supplemental spending bill for the Department of Defense. The House-Senate conference report states that the recommended funds are provided to prevent and mitigate the potential impact of terrorist attacks on commercial nuclear reactors, and to provide enhanced security for the transportation, storage, and use of commercial nuclear materials.
Joe Colvin, NEI’s president and chief executive officer, welcomed the conferees’ recommendation.
Since Sept. 11, the nuclear energy industry has focused extensively on the security of the nation’s nuclear power facilities. Our member companies have been, and remain, committed to providing the best possible security for the American public’s safety, Colvin said. We applaud the House and Senate conferees, and Sen. Pete Domenici in particular, for their recognition that this emergency funding for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will help the agency work with industry to enhance the rigorous security programs already in place. The industry urges the full House and Senate to approve this funding recommendation as quickly as possible.
The conference report states that these additional resources will be used to focus on re-analyzing the vulnerabilities and physical protection requirements for NRC-licensed facilities and for radioactive materials in transit; re-analyzing the design basis threats which are used to design safeguards systems … strengthening NRC’s emergency preparedness planning; and strengthening NRC’s infrastructure and communications capabilities.
Colvin said that industry’s goal is a seamless sharing of responsibility between business and government to maintain high levels of security at nuclear power plants.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org .