Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, along with Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), introduced a bipartisan resolution commending the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for holding its May 2012 conference on nuclear power plant life management in the United States. At the conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, participants will discuss ways to safely and cost-effectively extend the operating lifetimes of many of the nuclear power plants in the world. Idaho Governor Butch Otter and director of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) John Grossenbacher are both keynote speakers at the conference.
"Extending the operating life of nuclear power plants is an important part in meeting the world's ever-growing baseload power needs," Risch said. "I am pleased the U.S. is hosting this event and that Idaho is taking part in this conversation. As a leader in nuclear research, the Idaho National Lab is well-prepared to contribute to this international effort."
"This is the first time this conference is being held in the United States, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy and IAEA deserve recognition for this important contribution to nuclear power plant life management," Crapo said. "The information exchanged and ideas developed at these conferences are invaluable to maintaining nuclear energy's critical contribution to domestic and international electricity production."
"I commend the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for hosting this important conference," Carper said. "By sharing best practices with experts from around the world, we can continue to build on and strengthen our efforts to utilize nuclear power in the safest manner possible. I strongly believe the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a gold standard for nuclear safety in the world. This conference allows other countries to learn from our success. I always like to say, ‘if it isn't perfect, make it better,' and when it comes to the safety of our nuclear reactors, we want to ensure that we're doing everything in our power to ensure that safety is never compromised here or around world, and that this industry has the tools and resources it needs to grow and improve."
The resolution encourages member states of the IAEA to take advantage of the latest available technology to further develop licensing programs, promote safety and secure the long-term success of commercial nuclear power generation. Following the conference, Idaho National Laboratory, the lead applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's mission in nuclear energy research, will host a tour of its facilities.