House approves $936mn for nuclear industry, Obama to veto

 House approves $936mn for nuclear industry, Obama to veto

The U.S. House of Representatives approved $35.4 billion in an energy and water spending legislation, which President Obama said he would veto if it reached his desk in its current form.
 
Nuclear energy would receive $936 million for fiscal year 2016, an increase of $23 million from the current fiscal year and $28.5 million more than the Obama Administration requested for the year that begins Oct. 1.
 
The bill also provides $175 million for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to continue the licensing review process for the Yucca Mountain national waste repository in Nevada.
 
“A comprehensive program to effectively manage used nuclear fuel must include completion of licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain repository,” said Alex Flint, senior vice president for Governmental Affairs with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). “The appropriation for that project is most welcome.”
 
The House approved just over $1 billion to fund the NRC, of which the NRC gets 90 percent from fees charged to licensees. The bill would reduce NRC corporate support by $25 million. The House also required the NRC to return to commission-driven rulemaking development and to not delegate its authority to its staff, NEI said. The House also ordered the NRC to accelerate changes in its budget and planning process to align with the industry’s budgeting schedule and to provide a list of activities related to planned rulemakings and their schedules.
 
The House also supported the $345 million requested by the Obama Administration for the continued construction of DOE’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carolina.
 
The U.S. Senate will reconcile their version with the House and send it to the president, who is expected to veto it in its current form, mostly due to the Yucca Mountain licensing.
 
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