Science, Space, and Technology Committee Members today repeated their call on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) deliver to Congress the scientific and technical evaluation of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The letter follows a similar request sent on February 10, 2011.
In a follow-up letter addressed specifically to NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko, four prominent Committee Republicans demand that the Chairman release Volume III of the NRC's Safety Evaluation Report Related to Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Wastes in a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
In response to the February 10 letter, Chairman Jaczko said that he would not release the document because its review has not been completed. Members noted, however, the reason the report isn't complete is because Jaczko terminated work on the final review process shortly before it was scheduled to be released.
In the letter sent this afternoon, the lawmakers wrote that the NRC's actions "reveal a process driven by a systematic and politically-driven effort to terminate NRC responsibilities on Yucca Mountain, rather than an objective pursuit to resolve the scientific and technical questions associated with the site's suitability."
"To-date, NRC Chairman Jaczko has failed to provide a valid explanation for his decision to halt all work on this valuable document," Chairman Hall said. "The appropriate manner to ensure fully informed decision-making on this issue is to finish final review and publicly release SER Volume III, not to continue playing politics with this required scientific review."
The letter was signed by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX), Vice-Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-GA), and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD).