WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2012—The House Energy and Water Development Subcommittee marked up a $32.1 billion appropriations bill for fiscal 2013 today. The legislation offered significant support for U.S. Department of Energy nuclear research and development programs. It rejected the administration’s latest attempt to impose new charges on nuclear energy companies for the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning fund. The Nuclear Energy Institute’s Alex Flint, senior vice president for governmental affairs, made the following remarks in reaction to the markup.
“The Nuclear Energy Institute thanks the Energy and Water Subcommittee for its solid support for nuclear energy in this budget cycle, and particularly Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky for their longstanding commitment to nuclear energy as a vital low-carbon energy technology.
“As approved by the subcommittee, this measure restores federal spending on nuclear energy to the fiscal 2012 level of $765 million, some $90 million above the administration’s appropriations request. The industry greatly appreciates this vote of confidence. Continuing federal investment in the nuclear fuel cycle research and development program, including $10 million from the Nuclear Waste Fund for activities associated with the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations, provides a good foundation for moving forward. The nuclear industry continues to believe that the licensing of Yucca Mountain should continue and appreciates the $25 million from the Nuclear Waste Fund to pursue that goal.
“The investment of $114 million for the small modular reactor licensing technical support program is a welcome increase over the president’s budget to keep the program on track to be completed in five years. The subcommittee is commended for continuing support for the nuclear energy, science and technology disciplines in funding the Integrated University Program.
“Significantly, the subcommittee also acted fairly in refusing to levy another tax on nuclear energy companies via the Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund program that the industry already has funded as required by law. Since the federal government has yet to meet its financial obligations under the 1992 statute that required industry funding to help clean Department of Energy uranium enrichment facilities, it is patently unfair for the administration to try to re-impose this tax on the industry.
“We look forward to working with members of Congress to help make this budget blueprint a reality for the benefit of the American people and economy.”