Nuclear Energy Institute calls for changes in Energy Department releases of excess uranium

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) recently outlined ways in which it believes the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) can better manage releases of its inventory of excess uranium, including increased predictability and transparency.
The DOE periodically releases uranium from its stockpile and is required to do so in a way that does not adversely affect the domestic nuclear fuel industry.
“We recognize that DOE is committed to discharging that statutory obligation,” NEI Director of Fuel Cycle Programs Suzanne Phelps said. “The industry believes that establishing the annual amounts to be transferred, adhering to the established quantities and, where possible, entering into long-term contracts will help the DOE to fulfill its commitment and provide a good value to the DOE and the taxpayer.”
The DOE has, in recent years, bartered stockpiled uranium for environmental cleanup services, and the NEI also raised concerns that the industry has paid its share of funds for clean up of gaseous diffusion plants in the past and should not be made to do so again.
“The nuclear industry remains committed to working with DOE to help obtain adequate congressional appropriations to ensure that clean-up efforts can be accomplished effectively,” Phelps said. “A carefully managed, predictable and transparent regime for inventory transfers can support DOE’s objectives and help the domestic nuclear fuel supply industry support operating U.S. commercial reactors.”

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