Nuclear Power, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session to Receive Testimony Regarding the Role of Nuclear Power in National Energy Policy, July 13, 2004   [open pdf - 167KB]

From the opening statement of Hon. Pete V. Domenici, U.S. Senator from New Mexico: "This hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the role of nuclear power in our national energy policy is now in session. The purpose of the hearing is to evaluate the progress of various nuclear energy programs at the Department of Energy, to better understand the administration's commitment to nuclear energy. Today I want to discuss all of the Department's nuclear energy programs in the context of what I hope is an integrated administration strategy for a renaissance of nuclear energy. With Friday's court decision on Yucca Mountain, the Department's preliminary views on that decision will be of great interest to the committee. Currently 103 nuclear power plants are operating in the United States. These reactors provide 20 percent of the electric power needed for our Nation, thereby injecting important diversity into our energy supplies. Nuclear plants provide the Nation's lowest cost electricity other than hydropower, emit no atmospheric pollutants, excel at providing steady baseload power essential for anchoring grid stability, have demonstrated outstanding reliability, and have a superb safety record. However, the last completed nuclear plant in the United States was ordered in 1973. Combinations of issues, including high upfront capital costs back in those years, unproven regulatory framework for new plants, progress on spent fuel management, and a deregulated and highly competitive electric market, all have contributed to perceived financial risks that to date have precluded new orders. In contrast, nuclear plants with characteristics well advanced over any in the United States are operating today in Japan, are being built around the world. Four of these plants are under construction in Japan, two in Taiwan, two in Korea, one in Romania, and one in Finland." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Lamar Alexander, Evan Bayh, Jeff Bingaman, Jim Bunning, Larry E. Craig, Pete V. Domenici, Kyle E. McSlarrow.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 108-658; Senate Hearing 108-658
Public Domain
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Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html
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