1988 Scorecard Vote
The Price-Anderson Act was first passed in 1957. It was intended as a temporary, ten-year measure to encourage the development of the newly-formed nuclear power industry. It has been extended twice, and expired on August 1, 1987. The Act protects the utilities and their contractors from liability in the event of an accident: it is the only industry in the U.S. which does not have to pay full damages, including compensation for death, injury, and property damage caused by an accident (See House votes #6 and #7 for more on this issue).
The Metzenbaum (D-OH) amendment to the Price-Anderson Amendments (H.R. 1414) would make the companies that carry out the Department of Energy's nuclear programs liable if an accident is caused by gross negligence or intentional misconduct. This amendment covered all aspects of the federal nuclear program, ranging from weapons production, research and testing, to radioactive waste transportation, storage, and disposal (Under the Price-Anderson Act, these companies are totally exempted from any accident liability).
The vote was on a Johnston (D-LA) motion to table the Metzenbaum amendment. The motion was agreed to by a vote of 53-41 on March 16, 1988. No is the pro-environmental vote.