WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1999 was introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Sen. Frank Murkowski (AK), the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and by fellow committee member Sen. Larry Craig (ID) and Sens. Rod Grams (MN) and Michael Crapo (R-ID). The two-pronged legislation authorizes development of a permanent, underground repository and establishment of an interim, above-ground storage facility for used nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste from defense facilities. The following is a statement by Joe F. Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, in response to introduction of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
"To maximize the use of nuclear technology to foster economic growth and achieve air-quality goals, it is imperative that the federal government fulfill its obligation to safely manage and isolate used fuel from the commercial nuclear power plants that meet one-fifth of U.S. electricity needs. The legislation introduced today puts that important environmental goal in sight.
"The nuclear energy industry commends Sens. Murkowski, Craig, Grams and Crapo for their environmental leadership in introducing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. We anticipate the same strong bipartisan support that brought this legislation to the verge of enactment in the last Congress. At the same time, we call upon the White House to join members of Congress in ending the inequity to electricity consumers who already have paid the federal government more than $15 billion for a critical public service that they haven't received. The severe consequences that further delays will cause require action now."
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.