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ICYMI: Rep. Walters Discusses Importance of Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act

Jul 17, 2017
“It’s time we get this spent nuclear fuel off our beaches”

In a piece submitted to The Orange County Register, Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) highlights the importance of the committee led H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act (NWPAA) of 2017.  

Walters explains, “For 35 years, ratepayers in California and around the country have paid a tax on electricity generated from commercial nuclear power plants into the Nuclear Waste Fund to study, license, and ultimately construct and operate Yucca Mountain…Unfortunately, the fund was never managed as Congress had intended, creating challenges to successfully implement a nuclear waste management program.”

“The NWPAA reforms the broken financing system to protect ratepayers in California and in the 121 communities across 39 states that have paid into the Nuclear Waste Fund and currently have spent nuclear fuel in their states,” continued Walters. “It’s time we get this spent nuclear fuel off our beaches.”

Last month, the committee advanced the NWPAA in bipartisan vote of 49-4 to the House floor

For a fact sheet on the bill, click here.

For a comprehensive list of the committee’s work as it relates to Yucca Mountain, click here.

 

Taking Responsibility for Spent Nuclear Fuel

By: Rep. Mimi Walters

While generating nuclear power is one of the cleanest and most efficient forms of electricity, the process creates what is known as spent nuclear fuel. Unfortunately, spent nuclear fuel currently sits idle across our state: 228 tons isolated at the Rancho Seco site, 29 tons at the decommissioned Humboldt Bay site, 1,490 tons stored at the still operating Diablo Canyon site, and most concerning is the 1,800 tons at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station along the Pacific coastline and San Diego Freeway.

This used fuel was originally intended to be sent to the middle of the Nevada desert at Yucca Mountain for disposal. However, 35 years after the Nuclear Waste Policy Act was enacted and 30 years after Congress designated Yucca Mountain as the first site for a permanent geological repository, this material still sits just off our California beaches. The time to fix this problem is now.

For 35 years, ratepayers in California and around the country have paid a tax on electricity generated from commercial nuclear power plants into the Nuclear Waste Fund to study, license, and ultimately construct and operate Yucca Mountain. Californians have contributed over $2 billion into this fund.

Thankfully, the Energy and Commerce Committee — of which I am a member — has been hard at work on the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017. The NWPAA reforms the broken financing system to protect ratepayers in California and in the 121 communities across 39 states that have paid into the Nuclear Waste Fund and currently have spent nuclear fuel sitting in their states…

Read the full article online HERE.