U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) Tuesday joined in introducing a bipartisan Resolution of Disapproval to compel the Department of Energy (DOE) to cease its efforts to pull the license application for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.
This March, the Department of Energy filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw the application, with prejudice, to create a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Resolution is aimed at stopping DOE from using appropriated funds to terminate the program, and ensuring the preservation of all scientific and site specific files and data related to Yucca Mountain.
"I disagree with the Administration's decision on Yucca Mountain," said Spratt. "Last year I chaired a Budget Committee hearing highlighting the impact and liability should Yucca not be completed. I will do all I can to make sure some funding goes to defend the Yucca Mountain license application this year."
Spratt said taxpayers have already spent more than $10 billion on Yucca Mountain, compiling 20 years of data indicating that Yucca is the best site to securely store tons of nuclear waste, which in currently scattered around the country at sites like the Savannah River Site, near Aiken.
Spratt is an original cosponsor of the resolution, along with Reps. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Gresham Barrett (R-SC), Doc Hastings (R-WA), Norm Dicks (D-WA), and Fred Upton (R-MI). Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) sponsored the resolution.
Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) to centralize the long-term management of nuclear waste, including construction of a safe and permanent nuclear waste repository. In 1987 Congress amended the NWPA by designating Yucca Mountain as the only option for a longer-term storage site by a vote of 237--181 in the House of Representatives and 61--28 in the Senate and reaffirmed Yucca Mountain's designation as the only option for a long-term storage site in 2002 by a vote of 306--117 in the House of Representatives and 60-39 in the Senate. Then again in 2007, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected, by a vote of 80-351, an attempt to eliminate funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal program.