Resolution Urging Quick Congressional Action on the Recommendations of The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future
Whereas, nuclear utility ratepayers throughout the United States have contributed more than $30 billion in fees and interest, as required under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, for the sole purpose of removing used nuclear fuel from commercial reactor sites and defense-related high-level radioactive waste from Department of Defense facilities, and
Whereas, the federal government failed to satisfy the statutory requirements of the NWPA to begin accepting used fuel for disposal starting in 1998 and, indeed, has continued to fail to meet the terms of its contracts with U.S. nuclear plant operators, and
Whereas, the 104 operating U.S. commercial reactors have accumulated some 77,000 metric tons of used nuclear fuel, and
Whereas, the Obama Administration has terminated and Congress has ceased funding of all activities related to the license review or further development of a permanent central disposal repository at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, which has been the federal govenrment’s only intended destination for used fuel and defense-related waste, and
Whereas, the States of South Carolina and Washington, various communities and other parties remain involved in lawsuits attempting to compel the federal government to meet its obligations under the NWPA, and
Whereas, the President in January, 2010, appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future comprised of distinguished American scientists and nuclear policymakers to review various alternative options and make recommendations for future safe management of U.S. commercial used nuclear fuel and defense waste, and
Whereas, The Blue Ribbon Commission has recommended an integrated nuclear fuel management program incorporating: 1) Development of one or more Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed private or government-owned centralized interim storage facilities in communities in states that would willingly host such facilities; 2) Continued public and private sector research, development and deployment of used fuel and nuclear waste recycling technologies to close the nuclear fuel cycle in a safe, environmentally responsible, proliferation-resistant and economically viable process; and 3) Assured access by the nuclear waste program to revenues generated by consumers’ continued payments and to existing balances in the Nuclear Waste Fund: and
Whereas, These recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission align closely with long-standing policy adopted and endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council,
Now therefore let it be Resolved that the Federal Administration and the U.S. Congress should:
- Adopt legislation enabling the construction of one or more centralized interim fuel storage facilities through directives to the U.S. Department of Energy and through incentives to interested communities funded through access to the accumulated Nuclear Waste Fund.
- Recognize there are willing host communities and states that are ready to voluntarily accept used fuel and defense waste shipments.
- Assure access by the Nuclear Waste Management program to the revenues generated by consumers’ continuing fee payments and to the significant balance in the Nuclear Waste Fund.
- Enable one or more NRC-licensed private interim storage facilities to meet this long-ignored public policy need.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on July 2012.