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Scotched breeder reactor is costly project to close

The Clinch River Breeder Reactor, virtually killed by the Senate after 13 years of debate and $1.6 billion in tax dollars, will cost from $175 million to to contract obligations.

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The Senate voted 56 to 40 Wednesday to refuse $1.5 billion to complete the Tennessee reactor, which was designed to ''breed'' more nuclear fuel than it used. The move was a major setback to President Reagan's nuclear-development plans and to Senate Republican leader Howard Baker, who fought for years to keep his home-state project alive.

The vote was a victory for an unusual coalition of liberals, moderates, and conservatives which called it a pork barrel project that was unnecessary and too expensive. Opponents also warned that it could lead to the spread of nuclear weapons.

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