1995 Scorecard Vote
Despite massive government subsidies, the U.S. nuclear power industry has failed to solve its serious economic, safety, and waste disposal problems and, as a result, no successful order for a new commercial nuclear reactor has been placed in over 20 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).
Like many past federally funded nuclear power projects, the GT-MHR is economically unjustifiable and, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, suffers from serious safety flaws. In 1992, the National Academy of Sciences recommended that Congress allocate no funds for the technology.
The Fiscal 1996 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, H.R. 1905, contained a provision funding the GT-MHR at $12 million. On August 1, 1995, Senator Dale Bumpers (D-AR) offered an amendment to terminate the project by cutting the appropriation to $7 million to be used only for shutdown costs. The Bumpers amendment passed 62 - 38. YES is the pro-environment vote.
President Clinton signed H.R. 1905 into law on November 13, 1995.