Senators Put Forward BRC-Based Nuclear Waste Proposal

Legislation that would create interim storage sites for spent nuclear fuel and strip responsibility for its disposal from the Department of Energy took another step forward Thursday.

Four senators introduced a bill that would enact key findings of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. Namely, it would create a new agency to handle the waste and authorize that agency to create interim and permanent repositories in communities that want them, in the absence of the Yucca Mountain project axed by the Obama administration in 2010.

“By moving forward on interim storage and a permanent repository through parallel tracks, the federal government can send a strong signal to utilities, rate payers and the American public that we will meet our obligations on used nuclear fuel,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee release. The bill also has the backing of Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Senate Bill 1240 is a new draft of legislation first proposed in April. According to its summary page, it would establish an independent waste agency overseen by a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed administrator and oversight board. The agency would issue a request for proposals for a pilot storage facility within six months. It would be financed with utility fees currently directed to the Nuclear Waste Fund.

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    More bureaucracy, such a great idea!  Lets spend MORE money we don't have....

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Actually, we DO have the money. It was paid by every rate payer. The government spent a ton of it on yucca mountain already, then a senator from Nevada decided he didn't like that idea.

    How about we just start using what we already paid for and built!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The money they would be spending is money they have already gotten from the nation's NPPs and have been sitting on for decades.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Who would pay for this?  Privatized profits and nationalized waste?