1977 Scorecard Vote
ERDA Authorization bill (S 1811). The vote is on the Bumpers amendment to limit spending on the Clinch River breeder reactor to $33 million for project termination costs. The Committee bill contained the full $150 million funding for the breeder, despite Presidential threats of a veto. Senator Church offered an amendment to provide $575 million, enough to keep workers on the site until the reactor was redesigned, but not enough to begin actual construction. The Bumpers amendment was intended to stop the Clinch River breeder completely. It would not have affected breeder research, since $333 million for research was provided elsewhere in the bill. Environmentalists have long opposed the breeder because it produces plutonium, is more dangerous than conventional nuclear reactors, and soaks up money that might otherwise go to alternative energy programs. In lobbying against the Clinch River breeder the President emphasized how plutonium increases the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation. The President supported the Bumpers amendment. Rejected 38-49; July 11, 1977. Yes is the correct vote.