The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week by Rep. Dina Titus (D., Nev.). Previous iterations of the bill, designed to prevent the federal government from reviving the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project, have all died in congressional committees.
The bicameral legislation, led by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.), would require the secretary of energy to obtain the consent of affected state, local, and tribal governments before making an expenditure from the Nuclear Waste Fund for a nuclear waste repository. The bill is being cosponsored by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.) and Reps. Steven Horsford (D., Nev.) and Susie Lee (D., Nev.).
Quotes: “Over more than three decades and at every step in the process, the Yucca Mountain Project has sputtered because Nevadans just don’t want nuclear waste stored in our state,” said Rep. Titus. “We must codify the protection of their voices into law to protect the health and safety of our communities and guarantee a process that honors the consent of state, local, and tribal leaders. Nevada is not a waste land.”
“Nevadans have made it crystal clear that they don’t want a permanent nuclear waste dump in their backyard,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “I’ve opposed every attempt to restart the failed Yucca Mountain Project and will continue to champion this legislation that respects the voices of our state, local, and tribal governments in Nevada that have been silenced by an unworkable process.”
The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act is based on recommendations from Department of Energy’s 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and the DOE’s 2017 consent-based siting report.