Press Releases

Press Releases

Issa on House Passage of Nuclear Waste Storage Legislation

Press Release
May 10, 2018

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation regarding the storage of spent nuclear fuel:

“Today’s bipartisan House passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act is an important step forward in moving nuclear waste out of local communities,” said Issa. “The federal government must keep its commitment to safely dispose of nuclear waste and this proposal will put us back on track to advance to a long-term permanent site as well as more immediate interim options.” 

While not addressing all concerns related to nuclear waste, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018 (H.R. 3053) includes key provisions that would provide a way for waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) to be moved out of the North San Diego County community.
 
Under a bipartisan compromise added to the legislation, the long-awaited permanent nuclear storage facility at Yucca Mountain could move forward and the Department of Energy would be authorized to open a temporary, interim site where nuclear waste from shuttered facilities – like SONGS – could be moved to and safely stored while the construction of the Yucca repository is completed.

BACKGROUND:
 
Spent nuclear fuel currently sits idle in 121 communities across 39 states because the country lacks a permanent geologic repository.

California ratepayers have already paid over $2 billion toward the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Waste Fund to permanently dispose of spent nuclear fuel at the Yucca Mountain repository.  This is the sixth most of any state in the country.  The total Fund maintains over $40 billion from ratepayers across the country.

For years, Congressman Issa has been championing common-sense solutions for our nation’s nuclear waste storage, including his legislation the Interim Consolidated Storage Act (H.R. 474) which would authorize interim nuclear storage sites, similar to those included in the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018.

The legislation passed today:

  • Assists in the resolution of the pending Yucca Mountain license;
  • Directs DOE to move forward with a temporary storage program to consolidate spent nuclear fuel from sites – prioritizing shuttered places like SONGS – while working on the Yucca Mountain repository;
  • Protects our national security priorities by ensuring DOE upholds its responsibility to take ownership of spent fuel and for transportation to a storage facility;
  • Reforms a broken financing mechanism to protect ratepayers and assure DOE has adequate funding to construct and operate a multi-generational infrastructure project;
  • Provides Nevada and local stakeholders the opportunity to beneficially engage with the Federal government as the host State for the repository; and,
  • Strengthens DOE’s program management and organization to more effectively implement its nuclear waste program.

Interim storage is supported by local governments and leaders as an important part of getting the nuclear material from San Onofre moved out of our community. Local groups including the City of Encinitas, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Mayors of OceansideHuntington BeachLaguna BeachSan Clemente and Seal Beach through the Concerned Coastal Communities Coalition and the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, have expressed their support for solutions.

 

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