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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES SENATOR KOCH'S RESOLUTION ON STORAGE OF USED NUCLEAR FUEL

SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES SENATOR KOCH'S RESOLUTION ON STORAGE OF USED NUCLEAR FUEL

St. Paul—The Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee unanimously passed a resolution (SF 2187) Tuesday calling on the President and Congress to enact legislation and take other federal action related to interim storage of used nuclear fuel.  The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) requires nuclear utility ratepayers to pay fees and interest to a federal fund for the purpose of storing used nuclear fuel.  However, the federal government has failed to take the statutorily required steps to satisfy the NWPA.  Senator Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), chief author of the resolution, gave the following statement.

“It’s time for our elected officials in Washington to fulfill their end of the deal.  Ratepayers have contributed more than $30 billion to cover the cost of nuclear waste management by the federal government.  Meanwhile, federal action related to the storage of used nuclear fuel has halted,” said Senator Koch.

The current administration has terminated and Congress has ceased funding of all activities related to the license review or further development of a permanent central disposal repository at the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada, which has been the federal government’s only intended destination for used commercial fuel and defense-related nuclear waste.

“Experts have recommended development of temporary storage facilities to safely manage used nuclear fuel using the money ratepayers have already contributed.  In spite of the experts’ recommendations, the federal government, under President Obama’s watch, has failed to meet this public policy need in the U.S..   With this resolution, we’re holding the President and Congress accountable and demanding that they stop abdicating their responsibilities and get to work on a solution.”

Senate File 2187 next stop is the Senate Rules Committee.

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