The omnibus appropriations bill approved $986 million in fiscal 2016, an increase of $80 million, or 9 percent, over the requested budget. The bill provides $141 million for reactor concepts R&D and $203 million for fuel cycle R&D. The small modular licensing program will receive $62.5 million in fiscal 2016. The package set a deadline of March 2106 for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to submit a plan and timeline for completing the actions needed to facilitate the review of the first license renewal application, expected in 2019, for a nuclear power plant to operate beyond 60 years.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act rejects the administration’s proposal to reimpose a 10-year, $2 billion Uranium Decommissioning and Decontamination tax on the industry for the decontamination and decommissioning of uranium enrichment facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Energy in three states. The U.S. nuclear industry had paid $2.6 billion in taxes from 1993 to 2008 for the facilities, said Alex Flint, senior vice president for governmental affairs with the Nuclear Energy Institute.
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