WASHINGTON—The following is a statement by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president for governmental affairs, John Kane, on U.S. Senate action yesterday regarding the Price-Anderson Act, which expired in August 2002.
“The nuclear energy industry commends Senators Domenici, Inhofe and Voinovich for including language agreed to last year by energy bill conferees for the reauthorization of the Price-Anderson Act in the pending Senate omnibus spending bill. Price-Anderson’s renewal is overdue and warranted, as this legislation was overwhelmingly supported on a bipartisan basis by both houses of Congress last year.
“Congress has seen fit to renew Price-Anderson three times in the legislation’s 45-year history for a simple reason: it was designed with the public interest in mind and is completely funded by the industry it governs. By assuring the availability of substantial funds to provide prompt compensation in the unlikely event of a serious nuclear incident, it eliminates the interminable delays entailed in ordinary court cases that people face before they can be compensated for injuries, lost wages, housing or other damages.
“It has been recommended as a ‘law that works’ by both the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and is important to sustaining our nation’s ability to meet ever-growing energy demands. Renewing the Price-Anderson Act removes a measure of uncertainty for companies contemplating new power plant construction, and sends a clear signal that Congress recognizes the value of nuclear energy as the nation’s largest source of electricity that doesn’t pollute the air.
“We hope that inclusion of Price-Anderson Act reauthorization will facilitate expeditious renewal of this time-tested legislation early in the 108th Congress.”
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.