Bush admin plans to fund new dawn for nuclear power

Like an atomic Dr. Frankenstein determined to reanimate the corpse of the civilian nuclear-power industry, the Bush administration intends to allot $250 million in fiscal year 2007 to researching new ways to reprocess spent nuclear fuel — technology largely abandoned in the 1970s as too dangerous. The funding is seen as a down payment on billions in future federal spending for nuclear power, with the nuclear industry in position to reap millions of dollars in profits as a result. The fuel-reprocessing scheme is part of a larger Bush plan — thus far cheerily termed the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership — that would allow the industry to sell smallish reactors and fuel to developing nations as long as they send their spent fuel back to the U.S. for reprocessing. The administration quietly sent two senior officials to Japan, Russia, and other countries last week to sell the initiative, and Bush may mention it in next week’s State of the Union address.