Skip to main content

Why NEI Opposes the Uranium D&D Tax

Alex Flint
Earlier today, Alex Flint, NEI's Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, sent the following letter to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lamar Alexander, concerning the possible reinstatement of the Uranium D&D tax:
Dear Chairman Feinstein and Ranking Member Alexander:

The $200 million tax on the customers of nuclear utilities proposed in your mark of the fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Development Act is unreasonable and unjustified.

The tax is ostensibly to pay utility customers’ share of decommissioning the federal government’s uranium enrichment plants because of enrichment services U.S. utilities purchased from the federal government from 1969 to 1992.

However, those utilities’ contracts with the Department of Energy and its predecessor organizations required full cost recovery. As a result, the utilities’ share of clean-up costs was paid even though the plants, which had produced enriched uranium for the weapons programs, were already contaminated.

Despite that, when the Energy Policy Act of 1992 imposed the uranium decommissioning and decontamination tax, the industry paid an additional $2.6 billion over 15 years, the full amount required by the statute.

Several utilities did object to paying the tax and sued to block its implementation. The courts eventually ruled that the Congress could retroactively impose a tax but, importantly, also determined that the so-called fee was a tax.

Not only is there no justification for further taxing nuclear utility ratepayers, there is no need for additional revenues at this time. The uranium decontamination and decommissioning trust fund has a balance of $4 billion; funds are available.

In past years, when the Administration has proposed to reinstate this tax, the Congress has wisely rejected it because it is unjustifiable, retroactive, and industry has already paid twice.

I urge you to remove this provision from the fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Development Act.

Sincerely,

Alex Flint
To download a copy of the letter, please visit the NEI website.

Comments

Mitch said…
Bad echoes of VY's shakedown! Good luck!

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …