WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE), along with U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) applauded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for using its authority to temporarily defer the collection of fees and charges from NRC licensees.

On March 27, 2020, Barrasso, Carper, and Walden sent a letter to NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki asking the agency to consider using its authority to temporarily defer the collection of fees and charges from NRC licensees. Barrasso and Carper serve as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Walden serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is doing the right thing by temporarily deferring the collection of fees during this national emergency,” said Barrasso. “It’s a commonsense step to help critical industries like nuclear power plants and hospitals in this unprecedented time.”

“Many of our country’s power companies have suspended power shut-offs for those who are unable to pay their utility bills because, quite simply, it’s the right thing to do. This move by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is the right thing to do, too,” said Carper. “Deferring annual payments to the NRC by 90 days will not sacrifice the NRC’s nuclear safety mission, but it will give some much needed flexibility to our nation’s nuclear power utilities and the medical facilities that may use nuclear materials for medical purposes. During this crisis, even small changes like the one taken by the NRC today can have huge impacts on the lives of Americans. It’s a reminder that we should meet this moment by working together to find ways we can help and lift each other up.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges for many critical industries, including the nuclear industry,” said Walden. “Licensees are working to keep electricity running and maintain services at medical facilities and industrial companies. I thank the NRC for granting Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper, and my request to temporarily defer fees during this unprecedented time.”