The members of the U.S. Senate bipartisan working group addressing the backend of the nation's nuclear fuel cycle -- Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) -- today released the following statement in response to the introduction of S. 3469 by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.):
"Sen. Bingaman's bill makes substantial progress toward a long-term solution to the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Its strengths are that it creates a single, accountable, independent federal agency to manage our country's nuclear waste, and its adequate, dedicated funding means the money ratepayers pay to dispose of fuel is actually used for that purpose. And most important, it recognizes that the question of where to store nuclear waste can't be decided by Washington, but needs the full support of local and state governments.
"However, we remain concerned with the legislation's insistence on congressional approval of the location for a new repository before we can start moving spent nuclear fuel to consolidated facilities, which could delay progress for decades. We remain committed to finding a better solution. In the meantime, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a pilot program for consolidated storage facilities that can move forward as soon as Congress finishes its work on the appropriations bills."