Environmental Protection

DOE Offers Disposal Contracts

The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Oct. 31 that the Department is prepared to execute the Standard Contract for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and/or High-Level Radioactive Waste (Standard Contract) set forth in 10 C.F.R. 961, together with a new reactor amendment, with those companies desiring to construct new nuclear power reactors. The department is making the standard contract and the new reactor amendment (collectively "disposal contract") available to companies that have notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of their intent to build new nuclear power reactors.

"These contracts are essential to advancing the commercial nuclear renaissance which is needed in order to meet our nation's significant future demands for providing electricity in a safe, secure, and environmentally friendly manner," said Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman. "Making these contracts available to the developers of new reactors will support the expanded use of nuclear power in the United States, which is critical to meeting our country's climate change and energy security goals."

Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), a company must have a contract with DOE for disposal services in order to receive a license from the NRC to construct and operate a new nuclear power reactor. The department currently has contracts with the owners of all of the Nation's current fleet of nuclear power plants, including 104 reactors operating nationwide which generate approximately 20 percent of the Nation's electricity supply.

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