Lawmakers call for used nuclear fuel, regulatory burden action

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) | Courtesy of nei.org

Three U.S. lawmakers told attendees at a Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) event in Washington, D.C. this week that policymakers should act on bipartisan support for a federal repository involving used nuclear fuel.

“Expanded nuclear is critical for our economy, for our security, for our environment,” but the nuclear industry’s future depends on solving the used fuel issue," U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told the 800 guests at the Nuclear Energy Assembly. 

The remarks by Clyburn, fellow Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) came after the House of Representatives approved fiscal 2016 appropriations last week, including $150 million to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Department of Energy. These funds are intended to be used to restart licensing activities in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain repository site.

“Once closed, Yucca Mountain is safe for a million years,” Shimkus said.

The trio also called for more streamlined regulatory oversight.

“Restraining the increase of regulatory burden is critical,” Inhofe said. “The NRC’s workload is decreasing, but regulations are increasing."

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