President Clinton has signed legislation that substantially cuts the fees that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission charges its licencees.

The 2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act reduces the fee recovery requirement from 100% to 98% in FY 2001 and by yearly increments down to 90% in FY 2005. This is accomplished through a revision to the formula and percentages used to determine the aggregate amount of annual charges collected from licencees and certificate holders.

The measure signed by President Clinton also funds a variety of nuclear energy programmes at the US Department of Energy in FY 2001. This includes $391 million for nuclear waste disposal, $40 million less than requested, and funding for the Nuclear Energy Plant Optimisation (NEPO) and Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) programmes.

President Clinton had initially vetoed the measure because of opposition to a controversial Missouri River water project.