WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) today introduced legislation designed to enhance the management and disposal of used nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs at a geologic repository planned for Yucca Mountain, Nev. The following is a statement from the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Frank L. “Skip” Bowman:
“The nuclear energy industry is pleased that the chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee has introduced legislation that addresses many of the industry’s policy priorities for used nuclear fuel management. Given Senator Domenici’s proven ability to work cooperatively with his Senate colleagues on a bipartisan basis, this is a positive step forward.
“The provisions contained in this legislative proposal will help achieve the opening of the state-of-the-art repository planned for Yucca Mountain and allow for more timely movement of defense waste and civilian used fuel. This will help fulfill our duty to future generations to be responsible environmental stewards. Although the federal government is investigating used-fuel recycling, there will be some byproducts of the nuclear energy cycle that require geologic disposal. This makes the timely commencement of operations near the Yucca Mountain repository imperative.
“The industry looks forward to working with Chairman Domenici and other members of Congress to effectively address the longstanding delays in the government’s used nuclear fuel management program. Nuclear energy is vital to our nation’s long-term energy security. The sooner that the federal government begins meeting its obligations under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the greater the prospects that America can maximize the myriad benefits that we derive from this clean, reliable energy source.”
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.