34 -Yucca Mountain, Nevada Nuclear Waste Repository
(Sen. Bingaman (D) NM)
strongly supports enactment of S.J.Res. 34, which approves the Yucca Mountain,
Nevada, site for development as the Nation's permanent repository for
high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Sound science supports
this designation and warrants moving forward with enactment of this resolution.
Moreover, the development of a permanent nuclear waste repository is important
to a number of critical national interests including national security,
energy security, homeland security, and protection of the environment.
Right now nuclear materials are accumulating at 131 sites in 39 States,
and many of these temporary storage facilities are running out of room.
It was never the intent that these temporary storage arrangements become
permanent nuclear waste repositories. The Administration commends the
committee for their prompt, bipartisan action on this legislation and
urges Senate approval of this resolution.
of the Yucca Mountain site is based on a vast body of scientific evidence
developed over the past 24 years at a cost of over $4 billion; and the
enactment of S.J.Res. 34 will allow the required licensing process to
move forward. Under that process, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
will grant a license for the construction of the repository only if the
Department of Energy demonstrates that, in compliance with NRC regulations,
the material can be received, possessed, and disposed of safely. The NRC
regulations include stringent public health and environmental standards
developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is the Administration's
expectation that the Yucca Mountain site will meet the NRC's stringent
criteria and be licensed as the Nation's permanent nuclear waste repository.
Such action will ensure a permanent, safe, and secure site for the disposal
of spent nuclear fuel, which will allow the Nation to continue to receive
the benefits of nuclear power -- an energy source that currently provides
20 percent of the Nation's electricity and emits no greenhouse gases.