September 29, 2006

Crapo Co-Sponsors Nuclear Waste Legislation

Domenici-Craig bill gets Idaho waste moving to Yucca sooner

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that moves up the shipment of spent nuclear waste from Idaho to the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada. One of the provisions of the bill introduced by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico) would put Idaho waste stored at the Idaho National Laboratory on a fast track for transfer to Yucca. Under the measure, shipments could come years earlier than a 1995 court-mandated deadline of 2035. The legislation, S. 3962, was introduced earlier this week in the U.S. Senate, with Domenici and Idaho senior Senator Larry Craig as its chief sponsors. â??This bill is another step to ensure interim waste stored in Idaho is moved out as soon as possible,â?? Crapo said. â??Storing spent waste in Idaho and at reactor sites around the country is ill-advised when we have a national repository created by Congress to house it. Chairman Domenici and Senator Craig are to be commended for their work in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to target Idaho waste for accelerated removal and resume construction at Yucca Mountain.â?? The Nuclear Waste Acceleration to Yucca (NU-WAY) legislation instructs the Department of Energy (DOE) to move ahead to build a surface storage facility at the Yucca Mountain repository site at the same time it files its license application for the repository. It authorizes the DOE to begin moving defense fuel and waste to the repository as soon as the permit is received. It further authorizes DOE to begin moving civilian nuclear waste under certain conditions and accelerates those shipments by more than five years.Congress approved Yucca Mountain as the national repository for spent nuclear fuel in 2002. Planning delays and opposition have slowed the opening of the site. Crapo said the measure would not only speed up the removal of waste from Idaho, but also could bring resurgence in the creation of nuclear power sources to meet the nationâ??s energy demands.