Sponsor:

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

BACKGROUND

Over 75,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel, or “nuclear waste”, are sitting at more than 70 sites (mostly nuclear power plants) across America.1 Fourteen plants are no longer operational, but must still maintain security personnel for monitoring purposes.2 This is clearly not a responsible, long-term solution because the waste can persist for thousands of years.

The act is a bipartisan effort to safeguard and permanently dispose of the nation’s stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel, which are currently accumulating at separate sites across the country. Several states, such as Illinois and Kentucky, have understandably banned new nuclear development until the waste can be properly stored. Making nuclear waste disposal easier and safer will remove a roadblock to new nuclear development.

The bill would create a new nuclear waste administration body to have politically independent control over nuclear waste management, similar to what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is for nuclear safety and security. This body would focus on consent based siting for both interim and permanent nuclear disposal sites

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Establish a new federal organization to manage nuclear waste
  • Provide a consensual process for siting nuclear waste facilities
  • Authorizes interim storage of nuclear waste
  • Ensure adequate funding for managing nuclear waste

 

View the full text of S. 1234