Congressman Fred Upton is once again calling for a permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel to be created at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. He tells WSJM News the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week voted to advance the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019. It aims to assist in the resolution of the license for that site. Upton tells us work on Yucca Mountain has sat stalled while nuclear plants continue to generate waste.
“When they were designed and licensed to operate, it was expected that they would have storage for the length of their operation in the pools that they have, but at some point, that high level nuclear waste, in fact, would be transported to one safe place,” Upton said.
And Upton says it was decades ago that Yucca Mountain was identified as that one safe place.
“Nevada has been selected as the one. It’s literally got no water table. [The Yucca Mountain facility] is built into a five mile tunnel inside a mountain, 100 miles from Las Vegas. We’ve spent billions of dollars on this site already, and it’s time to get the job done.”
The bill moved by the House committee last week would also aim to fix the financing mechanism to protect electric ratepayers getting billed for the storage site, and direct the U.S. Department of Energy to move forward with a temporary storage program for spent nuclear fuel from sites with a decommissioned reactor. Upton says a similar bill passed the House last year.