1987 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.
Because the industry is protected from liability, it has no incentive to implement the necessary safety measures to protect the public. It is estimated that the damage from a severe nuclear accident would likely exceed $15 billion. The total liability for the industry under the recently-passed House legislation (Price-Anderson Amendments, H.R. 1414) is now only $7 billion.
The vote is on an Eckart (D-OH) amendment to make the owners of commercial nuclear power plants responsible for fully compensating accident victims. After an accident, the owners of nuclear plants would be required to pay a limited amount of money into a compensation fund for as many years as necessary to fully compensate damages. The amendment was based on a a proposal made by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1983.
The Eckart amendment was rejected 119-300 on July 29, 1987. YES is the pro-environmental vote.