Committee leaders respond to DOE's announcement on nuclear waste

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders responded on Tuesday to the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz’s announcement that the DOE would move forward with siting a separate repository for high-level defense nuclear waste.

In October 2014, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released volume three of the Safety Evaluation Report, concluding that the DOE’s license application meets the long-term nuclear waste repository regulatory and safety requirements. The report said that Yucca Mountain would stay safe for one million years.

“I have real concerns with pursuing a secondary site for military waste,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said. "Doing so is likely to cast aside the Yucca site with years of work and billions of dollars spent. We passed bipartisan legislation some 30 years ago, and starting from step one, looking for another site seems likely to delay a solution for years to come.”

Since 1993, the DOE has spent nearly $15 billion researching and developing Yucca Mountain, according to the Government Accountability Office. Approximately $5 million of that came from congressional appropriations to pay for DOE and defense nuclear waste.

“Yucca Mountain remains the most viable solution for our nation’s nuclear waste policy, and it comes with the scientific community’s seal of approval,” Upton said. “We remain committed to finding a path forward that works best for the country.”

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U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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