Nuclear Matters applauds the bipartisan passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, H.R. 3053. This important legislation is the first step in addressing the stalemate on a sustainable used fuel program that has persisted for almost a decade and has caused taxpayers to be saddled with billions in costs because the government is 20 years late in picking up the used fuel. The legislation provides a path forward for all stakeholders.
Today, used nuclear fuel is stored safely and securely on-site at nuclear energy facilities around the country. However, the government’s failure to meet its statutory obligation to pick up the nation’s used nuclear fuel has cost taxpayers over $6 billion. While there will continue to be a significant impact on taxpayers while further legislative action is pending, H.R. 3053 paves the way for this obligation to finally be met. Importantly, this bill will allow the U.S. to move forward on consolidated interim storage which will help expedite the removal of used fuel from local communities and allow them to begin to redevelop the sites while the permanent repository undergoes final consideration and construction.
We thank Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Pallone, Environment Subcommittee Chairman Shimkus and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Tonko who worked diligently to resolve these longstanding fuel storage issues.