White House urges more funds for nuclear

1 June 2005

The Bush administration is at odds with the House energy appropriations bill, criticising what it sees as underfunding for programmes aimed at supporting new nuclear developments and calling for funds from oil and gas appropriations to be diverted into nuclear efforts.

The House bill only provides the Department of Energy (DoE) with $46 million for its Nuclear Power 2010 fast track licensing programme, a figure $10 million lower than the budget request.

The administration is also critical of the House decision to more than halve funding to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) development, although the bill does increase fusion research funding to more than that requested, it directs these funds to domestic fusion R&D, rather than towards Iter.

Nuclear power is seen as key plank of the Administration policy to bolster domestic energy supplies and the Nuclear Power 2010 programme is aimed at subsidising efforts to licence new nuclear plants with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The Senate has yet to draft its appropriations bill, which is expected this month.

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