a decommissioning trust suffers the same vulnerabilities.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
With President Clinton and the Department of Energy (DOE) staunchly opposed, the House of Representatives was expected to return September 4 from August recess to take up its version of a nuclear waste disposal bill that passed in the Senate on July 31 by a vote of 63-37.
Senate bill 1936 and its amendments call for a temporary storage facility at the Nevada nuclear test site near Yucca Mountain before the end of 1999.
Vera B. Claussen has been elected the first female president in the American Public Power Association's 56-year history. Claussen is commissioner of Public Utility District Number Two of Grant County in Euphrata, WA. Other new APPA officers include president-elect Thaine J. Michie, g.m., Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins, CO; and vice president Walter R. McGrath, g.m., Braintree, MA, Electric Light Department.
The United States Energy Association has three new officers: P.J.
William A. Fox was named president of The Peoples Natural Gas Co. and Hope Gas, Inc. (em both subsidiaries of Consolidated Natural Gas Co. Fox comes from Virginia Natural Gas, another subsidiary. Succeeding him is Jerry L. Causey, VNG's operations v.p. Francis J. Corbett, formerly g.m. of VNG's northern division office, steps into Causey's post. Jose M. Simon was made controller at the corporate office. Joseph R.
That's how fast the money pours in to the nation's Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund, one mill at a time. And the money is attracting attention, especially during this election year, with Congress running out of time before its planned August recess.
"Today has been extremely rich in terms of rumors," said Mike McCarthy, administrator of the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition, when I talked with him on June 28.
"The leadership in the House and Senate have met. People seem to be adjusting their schedules.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling that permits Yankee Atomic Electric Co. to recover all costs associated with an abandoned nuclear plant.
In 1992, the utility decided to shut down its nuclear facility in Rowe, MA, after investigating safety concerns raised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Portland General Electric Co.'s (PGE's) decommissioning plan for the Trojan nuclear power plant. The Trojan plant, which began operating in 1975, was permanently shut down in January 1993. PGE filed its decommissioning plan in January 1995, proposing to move the spent fuel to onsite dry cask storage, dismantle radioactive structures, and decontaminate the site for unrestricted use (except for the dry-cask storage area). t
Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.
The U.S. Department of Energy will make $15 million in grants available to those willing to buy early versions of market-ready fuel cells. DOE will provide $1,000 per kilowatt, or up to a third of costs. Assistance will target buyers that want to purchase between 100 and 3,000 kilowatts. The first round of awards will be made by September 30. The application package is available on the Internet at http:/www.metc.doe.gov/business/ solicita.html. A diskette version (WordPerfect 5.2) may be requested by fax: (304) 285-4683, attn: R. Diane Manilla, M.S.
Dwindling economic competitiveness has plagued the nuclear power industry for
some years. In the industry's early years, some reactors were completed for less than $100 million. Experience gained overseas (often in projects with American partners) provides sobering evidence that nuclear reactors can still be built at low cost in short periods of time.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering revising its regulations on nuclear plant decommissioning funding. Under current NRC regulations, adopted in 1988, an electric utility may set aside decommissioning funds annually over the estimated life of a plant. In a deregulated environment, however, a nuclear power licensee could lose its regulated rate base as a source to fund the balance of decommissioning expenses.