Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Senators Urge Committee to Cut Funding for Reprocessing

In an April 24 letter, nine senators urged Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Ranking Member Pete Domenici (R-NM) to cut funding for the reprocessing and reuse of spent nuclear fuel.

The letter targets funding for the Department of Energy's efforts to reprocess spent nuclear fuel under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).

The non-proliferation-friendly advocates are:

  • Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Russ Feingold (D-WI)
  • Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  • Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
  • John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
  • Charles Schumer (D-NY)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)
These senators, "expressed wide-ranging concerns about the program ranging from cost, to nuclear proliferation risks, to environmental contamination dangers to past failures in this area," according to the Center's Director for Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Leonor Tomero. Their concerns include the programs' $200 billion burden on taxpayers, failures of past attempts to reprocess spent fuel, and the way in which the program undermines U.S. non-proliferation efforts.

Seems reasonable to me.

The letter responds to the administration's request of over $300 million for reprocessing in FY 2009, including $302 for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. (In FY 2008, DOE requested $405 million but received only $179 million.)

For the text of the letter and the Center's press release, click here.

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