WASHINGTON—"The Department of Energy announced today a plan to build an advanced uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio. The following is a statement by NEI Senior Vice President Marvin Fertel on the Energy Department’s plan:
“In Appropriations legislation passed by the Congress, the Secretary of Energy was instructed to take timely measures to maintain a domestic nuclear fuel conversion capability. The Energy Department was instructed to evaluate options to sustain a domestic uranium enrichment industry and make a recommendation to Congress on the most viable option by the end of this year. Congress also called for a vigorous analysis of the condition of the U. S. nuclear fuel cycle.
“In the wake of this congressional direction, contained in the FY2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill passed by Congress and likely to be vetoed by the President, DOE has announced a program to ensure a future supply of enriched uranium for the nation’s 103 nuclear power reactors.
“Earlier this year, the President also vetoed a bill that would have reformed the federal government’s used nuclear fuel disposal program so that the Energy Department could begin meeting its legal obligation to dispose of reactor fuel. This federal government failure has created a potential liability to taxpayers of up to $61 billion.
“The nuclear industry supports advanced technology development for uranium enrichment and policies that ensure a reliable, economic fuel cycle for the United States. The enrichment of uranium is only one element of the cycle. Ensuring the integrity of the entire process is essential to maintaining nuclear energy, our largest source of emission-free electricity.”
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 .