Congressman Tom Reed welcomed the West Valley Citizen Task Force to Washington and met with them at the Department of Energy Tuesday to discuss the importance of continued clean-up of the West Valley Demonstration Project.
"One of the most important functions of government is to protect public safety," Reed said. "Seeing this project through to completion will provide long-term economic and environmental benefits to the region while protecting our residents from very real risks. Any delay increases danger and cost."
Site clean-up will not only protect Western New York, but it will save money over the long-term. "We absolutely must scrutinize every dollar the government spends, especially in the midst of our debt-driven crisis," Reed continued. "By making the proper investment now in nuclear waste clean-up, we will save our taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in clean-up costs in the coming decades."
Reed has been closely involved in clean-up efforts, having previously joined with Rep. Higgins to sponsor amendments to ensure continued nuclear waste clean-up.
"Today's meeting is a continuation of the important communication between the West Valley Task Force and Department of Energy. I will continue to work with these groups to ensure this project receives the support it needs because it is the right thing to do for our residents, our environment, and our economy."
The West Valley site was established in the 1960s in response to a federal call for efforts to commercialize the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from power reactors. While the site was in operation, approximately 640 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel was reprocessed. Reprocessing operations were halted between 1972 and 1976 to support facility modifications, but operations never resumed. The U.S. Department of Energy became responsible for the site through the West Valley Demonstration Project Act of 1980, legislation requiring the Department to solidify the high-level waste and dispose of it.