WASHINGTON—The House Appropriations Committee today reported the Energy and Water Development bill for fiscal year 2004. The committee provided $765 million for the federal government’s nuclear waste management program. Congress last year approved Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a suitable site for development of an underground disposal facility for used nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and U.S. defense programs. This is an increase of $174 million over the budget request and $308 million over fiscal year 2003. The following is a statement by John Kane, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president of governmental affairs.
“The nuclear energy industry greatly appreciates the strong leadership and support that Chairman David Hobson, Ranking Member Peter Visclosky and their committee colleagues are showing for Yucca Mountain. Their recognition that sufficient funding is critical to the program’s success and timely completion is most important. We also commend the direction provided by the full Committee Chairman C.W. ‘Bill’ Young to address critical transportation, waste acceptance, site preparation, and Nevada participation issues.
“As the appropriations process moves forward, we urge other members of Congress to support the Committee’s action. In approving Yucca Mountain as a suitable site for the disposal of used nuclear fuel, lawmakers agreed that safe isolation and disposal of used nuclear fuel is one of the nation’s top environmental priorities. To ensure that key steps in support of Congress’ decision are taken in a timely manner, it is the best interest of our nation that funding of the House Committee recommendation to this program is enacted.”
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.