Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019
- Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
- Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)
- Rep. Scott H. Peters (D-CA)
- Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
- Rep. Salud O. Carbajal (D-CA)
- Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)
- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA)
- Rep. Rick W. Allen (R-GA)
- Rep. Michael F. Doyle (D-PA)
- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
- Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
- Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH)
Nuclear waste is building up at power plants around the country because of the federal government’s failed promise to take the waste and store it in a permanent storage site. This is bad news for the U.S. taxpayer. They are forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year to maintain nuclear waste at these plants.
“Put simply, this nation’s failure to come to grips with the nuclear waste issue has already proved damaging and costly.”
— The Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future36
Not only is the political quagmire costing taxpayers, it’s also been ruled illegal by the courts. Under the Nuclear Waste Act of 1982, the federal government promised nuclear power plants that they would handle the waste. Yucca Mountain was selected after it was determined to be the prime geologic choice of 10 different locations.
The bipartisan Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act would authorize privately owned interim storage options in the short-term as requested by stakeholders living near shut down nuclear plants, while removing barriers to the licensing and development of a permanent long-term solution. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established Yucca Mountain as the site for the first federal geologic repository of spent nuclear fuel. Since that time utilities have paid billions into the nuclear waste fund (as above), to advancing the licensing process.
- Advances Yucca Mountain licensing forward by helping to resolve outstanding water access and funding questions;
- Authorizes DOE to contract with privately owned facilities for interim consolidated waste using a consent based process;
- Integrates federal nuclear waste management activities associated with the transportation and storage of spent fuel, including any interim storage program, to ensure federal actions work towards the goal of permanent geologic disposal.
- Strengthens the federal government’s local stakeholder engagement for areas identified as a host to a repository or interim storage facility, with a priority towards Nevada.