WASHINGTON—The Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that two consortia will receive funding support to test the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s combined construction and operating license (COL) process for new nuclear power plants. The effort is part of DOE’s Nuclear Power 2010 program, a government-industry cost-sharing initiative designed to get a new nuclear unit under construction by that date. Following is a statement from Marvin Fertel, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s chief nuclear officer.
“The federal government has taken an important step to make America more self-sufficient in the production of electricity. Emission-free nuclear power plants must be an integral component of America’s energy portfolio in the generations to come—in no small part because they strengthen our energy security with reliable, affordable power while helping to keep the air clean.
“America is at a juncture where it must make good public policy decisions on energy. Demonstrating the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s new process for combined construction and operating licenses is a critical step forward toward construction of advanced nuclear power plants. We congratulate the companies participating in these consortia, and acknowledge the commitment by the administration and Congress to this important partnership program.
“We also express appreciation to Senator Pete Domenici and other congressional leaders whose efforts have been instrumental in moving this program forward. We encourage Congress to sustain and augment funding for this worthwhile energy program in the future. Doing so will help America meet the challenges of rising demand for electricity, concerns over air quality and overreliance on energy imports from unstable parts of the world.”
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.