WASHINGTON—U.S. Reps. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Charles Stenholm (D-TX) today introduced federal legislation to ensure that nuclear energy remains a part of the diversified energy portfolio necessary for America’s future energy security. The Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Joe F. Colvin, made the following statement in response to the Graham/Stenholm legislation.
"With the energy legislation they are introducing today, Congressmen Graham and Stenholm are providing the bipartisan leadership our nation needs to enjoy a healthy economic and environmental future. As the United States’ leading emission-free electricity source, nuclear energy is the only expandable, large-scale baseload source of electricity that can meet the growing electricity demands of our high-tech economy.
"The nuclear industry commends Congressmen Graham and Stenholm, along with the bill’s many co-sponsors, for their recognition of nuclear energy’s value in a diverse energy portfolio for our country."
"The bill encompasses five major elements related to nuclear energy:
It authorizes expanded educational programs to ensure a continued qualified workforce, sets up incentives for companies to increase the efficiency at nuclear plants, and assures the viability of industries that support the domestic nuclear fuel supply;
It encourages the construction of new nuclear power plants, in part through a demonstration project to pursue regulatory approval of early site permits.
It advances a ‘level playing field’ for nuclear energy relative to other energy sources by barring discrimination against nuclear power in federal purchasing decisions and in federally supported development of emission-free electricity production facilities;
It seeks to implement permanent solutions for managing used nuclear fuel; and
It promotes efficient oversight of the industry while achieving the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s mission of protecting public health and safety.
"This bill provides a comprehensive framework that will help maintain nuclear energy as a strong component of the portfolio needed to meet America’s future electricity demands. The industry pledges to work with Congress and the Administration to enact it into law."
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 .