March 31, 2010

Crapo Seeks National Nuclear Summit

Addresses City Club Forum Friday in Idaho Falls

Washington, D.C. - Addressing the nation's future energy needs can best be outlined by taking new initiatives such as a national nuclear summit, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo is part of a bipartisan group of eleven U.S. Senators who have written President Obama, urging him to join with them in convening a nuclear summit.

"With applications for 22 new reactors that could be built over the next ten to twenty years and the President's new commitment to build reactors, it is time for the Congress and the Executive Branch to join together to address our energy needs through safe, clean nuclear power," Crapo said. "Such a summit could include the President, his Cabinet, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, industry, consumers and representatives from our national energy laboratories, including our lead national nuclear lab, the Idaho National Laboratory."

Crapo has discussed nuclear issues, including federal loan guarantees for AREVA's proposed Eagle Rock Enrichment facility near Idaho Falls, with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The Administration's budget for Fiscal Year 2011 includes a recommendation to increase loan volume guarantee for the construction of nuclear reactors to $54.5 billion.

The Senators' letter to the President said the nuclear summit should address several issues, including:
• The development of a 50-year strategy to ensure that nuclear power continues to play a vital role in our domestic energy supply;
• Major initiatives that are currently underway or contemplated for the national and the extent to which these set the stage for the nuclear energy strategy;
• The responsibilities of government and the private sector in fulfilling a nuclear strategy; and
• The potential for an on-going working group providing advice and ensuring policies are implemented for a national nuclear energy policy.

Crapo was joined in sending the letter to the White House by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Tom Carper (D-Delaware), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Jim Webb (D-Virginia).