WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the fiscal year 2004 appropriations bill for energy and water development projects. H.R. 2754 provides $765 million for the federal government’s nuclear waste management program. A proposed amendment that would have reduced Yucca Mountain spending by $30 million was defeated. 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. The $765 million appropriation is an increase of $174 million over the Bush Administration’s 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 House’s overwhelming approval of sufficient Yucca Mountain funding for next year is good news for the American people. The House is exercising tremendous leadership to support the Yucca Mountain program through the licensing phase in a timely fashion. Today’s vote shows that House members recognize the importance of Yucca Mountain to the nation’s environmental goals and its overall energy security.
“The nuclear energy industry greatly appreciates the strong leadership and support that has come most notably from Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson, Ranking Member Peter Visclosky, and 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 the Senate to join the House in assuring sufficient funding for the government’s nuclear waste management program, so that key steps to license, build and open Yucca Mountain can occur in a timely manner.”
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.