House panel to hold Oct. 1 hearing on nuclear material transportation

September 24, 2015


The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, October 1, at 10:15 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Transporting Nuclear Materials: Design, Logistics, and Shipment.”

There are approximately three million shipments of nuclear material across the United States every year. For example, low-level radioactive waste is shipped to Texas and New Mexico for disposal, research reactor fuel is transported to universities across the country, and spent nuclear fuel from naval vessels is shipped to Idaho for storage. Members will examine current efforts to transport nuclear material, including regulatory requirements and weigh recommendations to the Department of Energy (DOE) plan for shipment of high-level radioactive waste and commercial spent nuclear fuel. Expert reports, including a 2006 National Academy of Sciences report, have found DOE must take steps to adequately plan for a national spent fuel transportation campaign and engage with stakeholders. But nearly a decade later, many of the report’s recommendations have yet to be implemented.

“It’s important we examine current efforts to transport nuclear material and ensure the federal government coordinates with states and local stakeholders to safely ship nuclear material. This is of critical importance as 74,000 tons of commercial high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel waits to be transported to a permanent repository for disposal. DOE must effectively implement a strategy to transport our spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Subcommittee Chairman Shimkus.