NARUC: spent nuclear fuel legislation looks good at first glance

June 27, 2013

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued the following statement after four Senators unveiled legislation to reform the U.S.’s spent-nuclear fuel policies:

“We are still reviewing the legislation offered today by Senators Wyden, Murkowski, Feinstein and Alexander. Much like their discussion draft released several weeks ago, we expect to find many positives which could help revitalize the nation’s long-failed spent-nuclear fuel policies, if passed by Congress. This is a major step forward to resolve an impasse that has lasted too long. We applaud the Senators their leadership.

“It is unfortunate, though, that we are in this situation at all. Congress more than 30 years ago passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, charting a clear roadmap forward. Despite the plain language of the law, decades of research, and a more than $30 billion investment from nuclear-power consumers, the Administration–for no apparent scientific reason–has derailed this policy. We are confident the courts will expeditiously direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume their statutory duties and make a determination on whether the chosen spent-fuel geologic repository is indeed safe.

“This should serve as a reminder to the Administration that Congress, not the White House, changes the law. And until such time, existing law must be followed.”
–NARUC President Philip Jones of Washington, Committee on Electricity Chair David Boyd of Minnesota

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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.