1994 Scorecard Vote
Despite massive government subsidies, the U.S. nuclear power industry has failed to solve its serious economic, safety, and waste disposal problems: as a result no successful order for a new commercial nuclear reactor has been placed in over 15 years.
Federal subsidies for nuclear power continue, however. Since 1978, for example, the Department of Energy has spent over $900 million to develop a Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR).
Critics say that, like many past nuclear power projects, the GT-MHR is economically unjustifiable and suffers from serious safety flaws. Environmentalists, for example, note that the reactor lacks containment structures to prevent radiation from escaping into the environment in the event of an accident. And the GT-MHR received the fourth-worst grade in a 1991 Department of Energy report which ranked 23 energy companies on the basis of economic and energy potential, environmental impact, and technical risk. In 1992, the National Academy of Sciences recommended that Congress allocate no funds for the technology.
When the Fiscal Year 1995 Energy and Water Appropriations bill (H.R. 4506) came to the House floor, Reps. Leslie Byrne (D-VA) and Scott Klug (R-WI) offered an amendment to terminate the dangerous nuclear project by cutting its $12 million appropriation.
On June 14, 1994, the House rejected the Byrne-Klug amendment by a vote of 188 - 241. YES is the pro-environment vote.