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Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2009
Contact: media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends)

Nuclear Energy Institute Statement on Boxer/Kerry Climate Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Legislation to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases was introduced today in the U.S. Senate. The measure includes findings and provisions related to nuclear energy, including the following: 

“STATEMENT OF POLICY.—It is the policy of the United States, given the importance of transitioning to a clean energy, low-carbon economy, to facilitate the continued development and growth of a safe and clean nuclear energy industry, through—

(1) reductions in financial and technical barriers to construction and operation; and
(2) incentives for the development of a well-trained workforce and the growth of safe domestic nuclear-related industries.”

Following is a statement from Marvin Fertel, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer:

“The U.S. nuclear energy industry supports the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 in a way that minimizes negative impact on the economy and consumers of electricity. We appreciate the fact that Senators Kerry and Boxer recognize that nuclear energy is a critical component of any strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The nuclear energy industry appreciates their efforts, along with those of Senator Carper, to articulate the strategic value of nuclear energy in this global challenge.

“The nuclear energy provisions are a start in the right direction. We look forward to working with the Senate to develop a meaningful nuclear energy title to take advantage of nuclear energy’s proven capabilities. But to accomplish that potential will require additional substantive provisions.

“We know we need to build additional nuclear power plants to meet our climate goals. In its August analysis of the Waxman-Markey legislation, the Energy Information Administration’s basic scenario projected that the United States would need 96 gigawatts of new nuclear generating capacity—approximately 70 new reactors—by 2030. EPA’s analysis of Waxman-Markey predicts the need for an additional 187 nuclear power plants by 2050.

“To that end, we will continue to work with Senators Boxer, Kerry and the other members of the Environment and Public Works Committee on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the bill is strengthened to include provisions that will make it possible for the nuclear industry to respond to the challenge of climate change on the scale it will take to address our national environmental and energy needs in a meaningful way.”