1975 Scorecard Vote
Energy Research Authorizations (H.R. 3474). The vote is on the Coughlin amendment to delete construction funds for long lead items for the Clinch River breeder nuclear reactor. Scientists consider the breeder reactor to be far more dangerous than the light water reactor now in use. A malfunction in the breeder could trigger a nuclear explosion, and the plutonium produced in the breeder could be used by terrorists to make nuclear bombs. Nor does the nuclear industry have adequate facilities for long range storage of nuclear wastes. At the time of the vote, there was no final design for the Clinch River plant, several studies of the breeder were not yet completed, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had ordered a moratorium on the recycle of plutonium. Environmentalists argued that funds for a demonstration breeder could commit the nation to construction of the breeder before these and other serious safety problems were resolved. Amendment rejected 136-227. June 20, 1975. ÒYESÓ is the correct vote.