House Panel: What About Yucca Mountain?

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Energy today released its report on implementing final recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) issued the following response to DOE’s implementation report:

“We cannot have a serious conversation about solving America’s nuclear waste problems without talking about Yucca Mountain. There remains a gaping hole in this implementation plan because President Obama precluded the commission from considering Yucca Mountain in its report. The Blue Ribbon Commission emphasized the need for a long-term storage repository, and Yucca Mountain remains the most viable and thoroughly studied option.

“The implementation report proposes making ‘demonstrable progress’ toward siting a new nuclear repository that can be open by 2048. What the report fails to mention is the fact that we have already made ‘demonstrable progress’ on Yucca Mountain. Last summer, 326 members of the House, three out of every four elected representatives, voted on a bipartisan basis to continue that progress by increasing funding for the NRC license review. We cannot afford to start over – billions of dollars and decades of work have been invested in Yucca Mountain. If politics are allowed to derail a project set forth in 1983, there is no reason to believe this new effort will be any more successful. We have the responsibility under the law to pursue Yucca Mountain as the nation’s long-term nuclear waste solution. It’s time to stop wasting time and move forward with the process we started 30 years ago.”