May 10, 2018 Issues: Defense and National Security, Energy

Washington, DC (May 10, 2018) The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, to modernize our nation’s nuclear repository system.

“This bill is a step in the right direction to securing the nation’s stockpile of nuclear waste that is currently sitting idly in over 120 communities across the country. For the safety of people, families, and the environment, it should be a top priority to develop a proper storage site for this waste. Included in this bill is the creation of an interim storage site to safely and temporarily stage waste prior to being permanently stored in Yucca Mountain. New Mexico currently has the only application submitted to develop this interim storage site. This project, with community support, would continue to cement New Mexico as a national leader in nuclear energy production, development, and disposal,” stated Rep. Pearce. “I’ve always supported an ‘all-the-above’ energy plan that unleashes America’s domestic energy production, and a part of that includes safely storing spent nuclear fuel to advance our nation’s defense strategy. I thank Congressman Shimkus for his dedicated work to make our nation more secure by demanding a permanent disposal site for our nation’s nuclear waste.”

In 1987, Congress designated 147,000 acres in Nye County, Nevada for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository for spent nuclear fuel, which is currently held temporarily in 39 different states. H.R. 3053 will require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue a final decision on the Yucca Mountain project within 30 months of enactment.

H.R. 3053 will also authorize the Department of Energy to develop an interim storage facility before the final decision on Yucca is made. Currently, HOLTEC in southeast New Mexico is the only applicant, and has local community support.