September 16, 2003
12:00 AM
Please find posted on the committee website the draft nuclear energy language that will be the subject of pending bipartisan staff meetings. This language does not include incentives for the nuclear energy industry. As you may recall, Chairman Domenici earlier announced that he would not use construction loan guarantees or power purchase agreements to incentive the nuclear energy industry. He would use other incentives. Draft language on those incentives will be released at a later time. In related business, Republican and Democratic conferee and committee staff met today at 2 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn to discuss revisions to the draft personnel and training language. The meeting lasted until 3:30 p.m. Republican and Democratic staff will meet tomorrow at 2 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn to discuss revisions to the energy efficiency draft language. These meetings will continue through the week. Below is a summary of the attached nuclear provisions: Price Anderson nuclear liability protections are renewed for 20 years, including provisions to encourage the development of advanced modular reactors. Support for deployment of new plants will be handled in other parts of the Bill. The Idaho research reactor with hydrogen cogeneration is in the draft language, but is in brackets pending further negotiations with the House. Security of nuclear facilities is strengthened, including strengthened federal oversight of plant security and the expansion of federal statutes for sabotage of nuclear facilities. Operations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are strengthened. Decommissioning funds are protected from misuse, the ability to attract and retain trained personnel is improved and license periods for new plants are clarified. DOE contractor’s ability to obtain reimbursement for fighting whistleblowers is limited. A contractor’s legal expenses are reimbursable only for the initial judicial determinations, and not for multiple appeals unless a subsequent appeal finds in favor of the contractor. Whistleblower complaints must be settled within 18 months or the case can move to the court system. Most uranium sales by the government are limited in order to enable commercial sources to supply materials.