Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 3053

Reforming Nuclear Waste Management & Moving the Yucca Mountain Repository Forward

Argument in favor

Spent nuclear waste sits idle in 121 communities across 39 states because America lacks a permanent repository, creating a threat to public safety and exposing taxpayers to liability because of the federal government’s inaction. This bill helps resolve the pending licensing process for the Yucca Mountain repository while reforming nuclear waste management policy in a bipartisan manner.

River's Opinion
···
05/07/2018
Nuclear energy is the least resource-intensive energy source we have today and at the same time the cleanest. The barriers to settling on an interim storage site for spent fuel have been almost entirely political and it is important for us to take care of this situation now in order to continue paving the way for next-generation reactors, many of which will be able to use this spent fuel to produce additional clean energy.
Like (65)
Follow
Share
SharonVonk's Opinion
···
05/06/2018
There are no good options to deal with nuclear waste - so let’s stop generating it. Meanwhile, it is better to collect existing waste into one or a few secure locations. Yucca Mountain has a lot of work already performed and is in a secure area. I suggest we move ahead and move waste there.
Like (18)
Follow
Share
tituswife's Opinion
···
05/10/2018
The nuclear waste already exists. It must be stored. This is not an issue of where our energy comes from. I'm curious where Congresswoman Titus would like it permanently stored, since she's opposed to her state.
Like (14)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

This bill is another step in the long process of forcing Nevada to host the nation’s nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain repository which is wrong as communities hosting nuclear waste should have the right to give their consent. Congress shouldn’t be passing judgment in favor or in opposition to the Yucca Mountain repository while the licensing process is still underway.

Ann's Opinion
···
05/10/2018
As Rep Dina Titus aptly called it, this is the “Screw Nevada Bill”. Why should my state be the repository for your nuclear waste? This is especially in light of the fact that there are other energy options available (such as wind, solar or less preferred natural gas). Why aren’t the states using nuclear energy responsible for their own nuclear waste???? I’ve heard Yucca mountain has been engineered to hold the waste for 1000 years; too bad the half life for this waste is 10s of 1000s of years. If you don’t want it, why do you insist Nevada get stuck with it????
Like (50)
Follow
Share
KansasTamale's Opinion
···
05/10/2018
Why do the Reps from other states have the right or the ability to say what Nevada is going to have done to it. That Rep from Nevada has said repeatedly that this is NOT what Nevada wants, so listen up, Representatives. Besides that moving all that nuclear waste across the country will put lots of people, towns, states and highways in danger. This is ridiculous.
Like (34)
Follow
Share
D's Opinion
···
05/10/2018
Shouldn’t this be decided by the State of Nevada first?
Like (27)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed May 10th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 340 Yea / 72 Nay
      house Committees
      National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
      Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      Committee on Armed Services
      Strategic Forces
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedJune 26th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 3053?

This bill — the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017 — would reform the nation’s nuclear waste management policy to ensure the federal government’s legal obligations to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste are fulfilled. It includes provisions related to the temporary storage of nuclear waste while a permanent repository is built at Yucca Mountain, benefits to be received by host communities, and revising how the Nuclear Waste Fund operates. Summaries of its various sections can be found below.

Storage & Building a Permanent Repository

The Dept. of Energy (DOE) would be authorized to contract with a non-federal entity (like a nuclear utility) to store spent nuclear fuel on an interim basis or to develop its own away-from-reactor, centralized storage facility — known as monitored retrievable storage. Fuel from decommissioned reactors would prioritized.

The DOE would be directed to prioritize activities relating to an agreement with a non-federal entity (like a nuclear utility), and such facilities would have to hold a National Regulatory Commission (NRC) license and have approval from the state, local government, and affected tribes.

This bill would also include “land withdrawal” (legal descriptions of how federal land can be used) for a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and remove impediments to license approval for the Yucca Mountain site. This would allow the formal licensing process to determine if the repository can be licensed and built. It’d also clarify regulatory and permitting requirements for repository development.

Host Community Benefits

Local stakeholders would be permitted to directly engage with the federal government to mitigate impacts from hosting a repository or interim storage facility.

This section of the bill would update the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to requalify the state of Nevada to enter into an agreement with the DOE to mitigate potential impacts that may result from hosting the repository. It would also require the DOE to prioritize work with Nevada-based academic institutions, reserve future economic value from spent fuel to the state of Nevada, and make funding directly available to Nevada once spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste arrives at the Yucca Mountain site.

Funding & DOE Operations

This section of the bill would ensure that previous defense spending supports the completion of the repository licensing process to facilitate the quickest pathway for communities hosting DOE national securities to remove radioactive material.

The method used by the DOE to fund its nuclear waste management activities through the collection and usage of Nuclear Waste Fund fees. This section of the bill would also make specific portions of previously collected funding available to the DOE without further funding throughout the multi-decade life cycle of the repository program.

The DOE would be required to take ownership of commercial spent nuclear fuel once it is accepted for transport to an interim storage facility or repository. This would reduce ongoing taxpayer exposure to claims against the Judgment Fund because DOE’s current lack of ownership places them in breach of contract.

Impact

Communities with spent nuclear waste, or that would host a repository or interim storage facility; nuclear utilities; and the DOE.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3053

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would reduce fees collected from utilities by about $1.5 billion over the 2018-2027 period and increase spending on payments to state, local, and tribal governments by $260 million over that period

More Information

In-Depth: House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) offered the following statement when his committee passed Rep. John Shimkus’ (R-IL) bill to reform the nation’s nuclear waste management policy and advance the Yucca Mountain licensing process:

“At the end of the day this bill is good for taxpayers, communities, and ratepayers… It’s now time for the  federal government to fulfill its obligation and permanently dispose of the spent nuclear fuel sitting in our states, alongside our lakes, rivers and roadways. The time for action is now and we intend to roll up our sleeves to get this done.”

Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) expressed her opposition to this bill in a statement:

“This legislation is Screw Nevada 2.0. Nothing has changed since I testified against this flawed bill last summer. The bill rejects the science and it ignores Nevada’s continued and steadfast opposition. H.R. 3053 simply doubles down on the failed policies of 31 years ago. Bringing this legislation to the floor is nothing more than a show for the nuclear industry and its campaign cash recipients in Congress. It is an exercise that does nothing to implement a consent-based decision process. Nevada is not a wasteland, and I’ll continue to fight any attempt to turn it into the nation’s nuclear waste dumping ground.”

This legislation passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a 49-4 vote in June 2017 and has the support of 109 bipartisan cosponsors, including 88 Republicans and 21 Democrats.


Of Note: The House Energy & Commerce Committee notes that nuclear waste sits idle in 121 communities across 39 states because the federal effort to find a permanent repository for the waste is ongoing. Yucca Mountain, Nevada was identified as the host site for the repository in 1987 and the project was approved in 2002, but in 2011 the Obama administration worked to block funding for the project, which has been at a standstill since.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: tunart / iStock)

AKA

Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, and for other purposes.

    Nuclear energy is the least resource-intensive energy source we have today and at the same time the cleanest. The barriers to settling on an interim storage site for spent fuel have been almost entirely political and it is important for us to take care of this situation now in order to continue paving the way for next-generation reactors, many of which will be able to use this spent fuel to produce additional clean energy.
    Like (65)
    Follow
    Share
    As Rep Dina Titus aptly called it, this is the “Screw Nevada Bill”. Why should my state be the repository for your nuclear waste? This is especially in light of the fact that there are other energy options available (such as wind, solar or less preferred natural gas). Why aren’t the states using nuclear energy responsible for their own nuclear waste???? I’ve heard Yucca mountain has been engineered to hold the waste for 1000 years; too bad the half life for this waste is 10s of 1000s of years. If you don’t want it, why do you insist Nevada get stuck with it????
    Like (50)
    Follow
    Share
    Why do the Reps from other states have the right or the ability to say what Nevada is going to have done to it. That Rep from Nevada has said repeatedly that this is NOT what Nevada wants, so listen up, Representatives. Besides that moving all that nuclear waste across the country will put lots of people, towns, states and highways in danger. This is ridiculous.
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    Shouldn’t this be decided by the State of Nevada first?
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Ask Nevada.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    There are no good options to deal with nuclear waste - so let’s stop generating it. Meanwhile, it is better to collect existing waste into one or a few secure locations. Yucca Mountain has a lot of work already performed and is in a secure area. I suggest we move ahead and move waste there.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    The nuclear waste already exists. It must be stored. This is not an issue of where our energy comes from. I'm curious where Congresswoman Titus would like it permanently stored, since she's opposed to her state.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Our government is using the Yucca Mountain as a scapegoat for dumping nuclear waste. Why not have the nuclear sites be responsible for their own waste? Is it because it is the best solution that our government refuses to see it? Or have the lobbyists for these nuclear sites placed huge monetary down payments with our representatives to pass on the nuclear waste responsibility?
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Make this happen. If we can get fuel out of the pools and into the repository it will help secure our energy future for a long time. I work in his industry and with the advances in technology this will allow many more years of safe, clean reactor operation.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    We’ve seen too much damage from nuclear waste sites. The damage can be seen in soil, in water, and thereby in the people and ecosystems living nearby. We need a new solution to our nuclear waste problem. Dumping more waste in communities is not the answer.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Stop kicking the waste can down the road.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    This should have been done before I was even born. Let's get it going already.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Moving the nuclear waste into the middle of a desert that will never be used for anything? Sign me up.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Before we hastily pass this bill, we must understand and acknowledge the expertise and commitment that Finland and Sweden have on creating publicly approved, sustainable, and clean nuclear waste management sites. Our government must work with those countries' experts and the IAEA to create a clean future. We must protect our environment and our people, and why not follow those that have already succeeded, we must find better solutions and stronger possibilities. Our society is just not ready to speed up this program, but to improve the program before it continues.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Las Vegas is the country’s most visited tourist destination, with visitors coming from all over the world. The optics on storing the nation’s nuclear waste within such close proximity to such a large populace of people, let alone over 42 million visitors annually, are awful. A permanent storage solution should be centrally located, and should not be in immediate vicinity of millions of Americans. If the argument is that Yucca Mountain is “already existing”, then build a new one more strategically and safely located. Had Congress started doing this all those years ago when this initially became a debate, the project would have been done by now, and we would already be storing the waste. New plants could be built and we could make further progress on reducing energy carbon emissions.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is another step in the long process of forcing Nevada to host the nation’s nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain repository which is wrong as communities hosting nuclear waste should have the right to give their consent. Congress shouldn’t be passing judgment in favor or in opposition to the Yucca Mountain repository while the licensing process is still underway.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    This cannot go into effect without the intended host community’s consent.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    I believe each state should be responsible for their own nuclear waste
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    What does Nevada say?
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Unless Nevada and it's residents have guess that this is okay then Benedict Trump and his regime have no right to make this decision on their behalf.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE