Nuclear energy industry seeks more funding, fewer regulations

The nuclear energy industry is calling on Congress to rein in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Nuclear Energy Institute said last week.

The industry also is advocating for the dismissal of the Obama administration’s multi-billion-dollar industry tax on an already-funded federal facilities cleanup program.

In response to the administration’s 2016 fiscal year budget request, the industry also has requested funding for nuclear waste management program activities, including money to further advance the U.S. Department of Energy’s license application for the proposed repository for used nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

The Department of Energy’s budget request for the 2016 fiscal year is $29.9 billion, a 9.2 percent increase from the current budget, but funding for nuclear energy programs would be cut to $907.5 million.

“The industry’s primary goal is to ensure that our resources and regulatory resources are focused on those activities most significant to safety. That priority is being challenged by the workload that the NRC has imposed over the past decade,” Alex Flint, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president for governmental affairs, said. “We urge Congress to insist upon NRC adherence to its principles of good regulation so that nuclear energy facilities can more safely and effectively meet their customers’ need for reliable, clean-air electricity supplies.

“Given nuclear energy facilities’ strong safety performance and the fact that several utilities’ plans to add new nuclear generating capacity still are being shaped by the recession’s lingering impact on electricity demand, the NRC’s oversight priorities merit close scrutiny. Reducing the cumulative impact of regulatory requirements -- which includes some 60 rulemakings -- remains a priority for NEI."

Organizations in this Story

Nuclear Energy Institute U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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