WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) — The energy committee in the U.S. Senate has found “no consensus” on President Bush’s international nuclear power and waste plan.

In a letter to the Senate’s budget committee, Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership isn’t faring well.

“There is, as yet, no consensus among the members of the committee on this program. While some of our members strongly support it, others believe it is unwise and untimely,” they wrote in a letter that addressed a number of issues regarding Bush’s fiscal year 2008 budget request for the departments
of energy and interior.

GNEP is a multipronged plan to increase the use of nuclear energy worldwide while ensuring the fuel isn’t used for weapons by increasing the use and technology of fuel recycling plants.

Proponents say it will be a safe way to ensure countries of various sizes and needs the use of nuclear energy and keeping the uranium enrichment capability in the hands of only a number of countries.

But those oppose it question the $405 million price tag for GNEP next fiscal year, considering the technology to be relied upon is not commercially viable yet.