NEI urges Energy Department, Office of Management and Budget to address nuclear waste funding concerns

Published on May 03, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Maria Korsnick

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) recently sent a letter to Trump Administration officials asking them to address funding
issues related to nuclear waste management and support policies to restart used fuel management programs.

In her letter to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NEI President and CEO Maria Korsnick noted that although the previous administration had ended the Yucca Mountain
repository program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) continued to collect fees from electricity ratepayers into the Nuclear Waste Fund until a November 2013 court order that stopped payments in May 2014.

“The industry believes this inequity must be addressed and corrected,” Korsnick wrote. “A clear reading of the court decision indicates that there is no basis to budget for collection of the annual fees if there are no funds currently appropriated to
implement any program.”

Korsnick also said that the fee should not be restored until program expenses exceed annual investment income and DOE conducts a new fee adequacy study that establishes a need for reinstatement of the fees.

The letter also proposed that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) should receive funding to complete the Yucca Mountain license application and for the private interim storage facilities that have submitted license applications.

“Interim storage is necessary given the length of time a final repository will take to construct and it will allow decommissioned sites and states to re-purpose the land currently being used for on-site fuel storage,” Korsnick wrote.

Korsnick urged Perry and Mulvaney to reform the process for funding a revived waste management program in order to provide greater certainty about the implementation of the program.

Korsnick will testify at a May 3 hearing of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.