Caption: Yucca Mountain
Nuclear energy programs would receive $936 million in fiscal year 2016 under an energy and water spending bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee.
As part of the bill, the House committee budgeted $175 million to continue licensing activities for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, including $150 million to the U.S. Department of Energy and $25 million to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The administration had only requested $27 million as part of an effort to terminate the project.
The committee reduced the NRC’s budget by $25 million, or 2.5 percent, in order to implement recommendations the NRC made to improve efficiency and effectiveness. NRC’s current budget is slightly more than $1 billion.
President Obama’s proposal to impose a 10-year, $2 billion tax on the nuclear industry for the decontamination and decommissioning of uranium enrichment facilities that the DOE operated in three states was again rejected.
“The nuclear energy industry believes the Appropriations Committee has acted properly and decisively with immediate, concrete action to right-size the NRC’s budget,” said Alex Flint, senior vice president for governmental affairs with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). “As the NRC itself acknowledges in its Project Aim report, the public interest and the agency’s safety mission will be better served once the NRC is right-sized and increases discipline throughout its regulatory processes. Industry and NRC resources alike must be focused on those areas with high safety significance.”
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