WASHINGTON—As part of its deliberations on energy policy legislation (S. 14), the U.S. Senate today approved provisions that support deployment of new nuclear power plants. The provisions authorize the Secretary of Energy to provide financial assistance in the form of loan guarantees and power purchase agreements for projects “needed to contribute to energy security, fuel or technology diversity, or clean air attainment goals.” The financial assistance would not exceed 50 percent of eligible project costs and is limited to 8,400 megawatts of new electrical generation. The following is a statement by Joe F. Colvin, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer.
“Today Senate’s vote is an important step forward for a secure energy future and clear recognition of the myriad benefits that nuclear energy provides to the American people. Nuclear power plants are essential to drive the economy; they help keep the air clean; and they help bolster U.S. energy security. More than 100 nuclear power reactors are our nation’s only expandable baseload electricity source that doesn’t pollute the air.
“With this vote, senators have gone on record saying that, amid many other steps being taken to assure that Americans can benefit from a diversified electricity mix, the federal government appropriately should stimulate construction in the first of the new wave of advanced-design nuclear power plants that are needed to meet rising electricity demands.
“We applaud Senator Domenici for his passionate leadership to strengthen our nation’s energy security, and we thank the Senate for responding favorably to Senator Domenici’s clarion call for more 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.