WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 253-167 in favor of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2000 (S.1287). The following is a statement by John Kane, vice president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, in response to the House vote.
"The nuclear energy industry is greatly pleased that the House of Representatives has voted in favor of this important environmental legislation. Speaker Dennis Hastert and all the members who voted in favor of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act have provided genuine leadership to make much-needed improvements to the federal government’s nuclear waste disposal program. We also thank Senate Energy Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski and Majority Leader Trent Lott for their leadership. It’s noteworthy that many representatives, although they did not support this particular bill, still expressed a strong commitment to have the government fulfill its obligation to safely isolate used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs.
"With Senate passage of this legislation last month, the industry now looks to President Clinton to sign this bill into law and provide the environmental stewardship that the federal government is obligated to provide to the American people. This legislation meets all of the administration’s stated objectives and merits enactment into law. Since 1983, consumers of electricity generated at nuclear power plants have committed to the government some $16 billion for environmental protection that they have yet to receive. The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act offers the President a historic opportunity to steer our nation onto the path of safe geologic disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
"By providing for the efficient management and safe isolation of used nuclear fuel, S.1287 helps to make it possible for Americans to derive maximum benefits from nuclear power-our nation’s largest source of emission-free electricity. The past year’s spike in oil prices, unfortunate as it is, serves as a reminder that nuclear energy plays a key role in our nation’s electricity mix, and that it is crucial to achievement of our ambitious economic and environmental goals."
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.