Bill to restart Yucca Mountain repository moves in Congress | July 10, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 28 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 28 | p. 19 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 10, 2017

Bill to restart Yucca Mountain repository moves in Congress

By Jeff Johnson
Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: nuclear power, Yucca Mountain, nuclear power, Nevada

Legislation to push forward the long-delayed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository in Nevada cleared the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee on June 28. The bill (H.R. 3053) would restart the permitting process, which has been mired in politics and technical issues and was killed by the Obama Administration eight years ago. The measure would allow siting of interim waste storage—in a location not yet selected—if progress on the geologic repository is demonstrated and a final decision on its licensing is “imminent.” As approved by the committee 49-4, the bill would also prohibit seabed disposal and exempt Great Lakes states from nuclear waste storage. In addition, the measure would increase Yucca Mountain’s planned capacity from 70,000 to 110,000 metric tons of waste. Nevada’s congressional delegation opposes the bill. Members of the Energy & Commerce Committee, which includes no Nevada representatives, predict a more protracted debate as the bill advances to the Senate. The Trump Administration has proposed $120 million in funding to restart licensing of Yucca Mountain.

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