The Nuclear Energy Institute's president and chief executive officer, Marvin Fertel, made the following comments in response to the announcement that President Obama has selected Ernest J. Moniz, director of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as Secretary of Energy.
"In nominating Ernie Moniz to be Secretary of Energy, President Obama has sent America a strong message that its energy leadership will be entrusted to an advocate of clean energy supplies, including nuclear energy. Dr. Moniz is experienced and well respected in the energy, nonproliferation and national security communities worldwide. He has made it clear that he recognizes nuclear energy's important role in reducing greenhouse gases as part of a balanced, low-carbon electricity generation portfolio.
"Dr. Moniz was a member of the administration's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, which recommended a new strategy for managing used nuclear fuel. The nuclear energy industry and many other stakeholders agree with the commission's key findings that would create a solid foundation on which to build a sustainable used fuel management program while development of a permanent repository is pursued. When confirmed as secretary, we urge Dr. Moniz to aggressively implement the commission's sound recommendations, including the development of one or more consolidated storage facilities for used nuclear fuel at volunteer sites. We also urge the Energy Department, as a matter of legal obligation, to prepare to resume the licensing of the Yucca Mountain used fuel repository and reassess the Nuclear Waste Fund fee based on court direction.
"We look forward to the opportunity to work with Dr. Moniz to ensure nuclear energy continues to be a vital part of our nation's energy and environmental policy. Nuclear energy is a reliable provider of affordable, low-carbon electricity, and provides many other benefits including grid stability, job creation, energy diversity and energy security."