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ENERGY SECRETARY PLEASED WITH HOUSE VOTE

 ENERGY SECRETARY PLEASED WITH HOUSE VOTE
 WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Energy James D.


Watkins expressed his satisfaction with the approval tonight by the House of Representatives of the Clement-Barton nuclear licensing amendment to H.R. 776.
 "This vote is a vindication of the President's National Energy Strategy. The Clement-Barton amendment establishes a licensing process that will enable nuclear power to help meet our nation's future electricity needs," stated Admiral Watkins. This measure, like Senate Bill 2166, is an important step towards providing the predictability that is urgently needed in the licensing process for nuclear plants.
 Nuclear energy now provides approximately 20 percent of the nation's electricity without emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, or greenhouse gases. The National Energy Strategy cites as one of its main goals for nuclear power the reform of the licensing process, so that a safely-built nuclear plant can be operated without procedural delay.
 The Clement-Barton amendment will increase opportunities for the public's concerns to be addressed in a meaningful and timely way before construction is started. It would not constrain the NRC's authority to protect the public health and safety, including making safety determinations on its own initiative.
 -0- 5/20/92
 /CONTACT: Joseph C. Karpinski, 202-586-4940, or Joanne L. Johnson, 202-586-5806/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: LEG


KD -- NY121 -- 2585 05/20/92 21:21 EDT
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Date:May 20, 1992
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