WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to increase uranium recovery license terms from 10 years to 20 years.
“I applaud the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for making the right decision,” said Barrasso. “Wyoming’s uranium producers need certainty from Washington in order to succeed. Twenty-year license terms will go a long way in providing that certainty.”
Wyoming is home to the majority of the nation’s uranium production. The Senate EPW Committee has oversight of the NRC.
On November 9, 2017, NRC commissioners voted 2 to 1 to approve the NRC staff's recommendation to implement a maximum license term of 20 years for new applications and license renewals for uranium recovery facilities.
On March 2, 2017, Barrasso introduced S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, which would require, among other things, the NRC to study the safety and feasibility of extending the duration of uranium recovery licenses from 10 to 20 years, including any potential benefits of the extension.
Barrasso first raised this issue on October 7, 2015. At an EPW committee oversight hearing, Barrasso asked then-NRC Chairman Stephen Burns if “longer license duration, rather than the 10 years, a longer duration, would help the NRC manage its workload better?” Burns replied, “That is a possibility. We would have to take a look at that.”