Texas congressman weighs in on Yucca Mountain

December 14, 2020, 12:12PMANS Nuclear Cafe


The U.S. Congress has failed to uphold its promise to fully fund Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, as a permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel, Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R., Texas) writes in an op-ed article published on December 8 in the Dallas Morning News.

More than three decades after passing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, Congress has yet to fully fund the Yucca Mountain Project. Burgess points out that while some countries have found success with reprocessing spent fuels, the fission process will always produce some amount of material that must be safely disposed, making it necessary to find a permanent solution.

Finding a solution: Burgess says that the current licensing process is broken, and he encourages the passage of the bipartisan Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, which has already passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

According to Burgess, this bill advances Yucca’s licensing process, promotes interim storage facilities, integrates the federal government’s waste management activities, and improves the federal government’s engagement with local and state stakeholders.

Fulfill the commitment: “If Congress is seriously considering ways to foster a cleaner future, it must fulfill its commitment to providing a permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel,” Burgess writes. “It is time to vote on the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act. It is time to open Yucca.”

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