Speaking before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on March 3, Rita Baranwal, the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy, said that the DOE has prepared a request for proposal for an interim storage site for radioactive waste. “The intent is for the basic design of an interim storage facility,” she said.
For the fiscal year 2021 budget, the Trump administration has requested $27.5 million to support the “implementation of a robust interim storage program and R&D on alternative technologies for the storage, transportation, and disposal of the nation’s nuclear waste, with a focus on systems deployable where there is a willingness to host.” The administration did not request funds for the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada (NN, Mar. 2020, p. 73).
In a session of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee held on February 27, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said that the DOE would not begin work on an interim storage site without congressional approval, as doing so would violate the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
In response to questions, Baranwal said that the DOE does not have particular host sites in mind for an interim storage facility, but that the department will work to identify potential sites.