Washington–Today, Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)introduced a bill that would pave a path forward for storage of the nation’s nuclear waste. The Interim Consolidated Storage Act would allow the Department of Energy to use interest from the National Nuclear Fund to contract temporary storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel and could have the federal government begin collecting waste from nuclear facilities across the country in as little as 5 years.
Congressman Mike Conaway: “Nuclear waste should be stored with the utmost care, but currently, licensed facilities such as Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas, are not able to serve as interim nuclear waste storage sites due to an outdated law and bureaucratic inefficiencies. As a result, nuclear utility plants currently have no choice but to store their waste on site. This legislation allows the Department of Energy to cut through the red tape and enter into contracts with these licensed facilities, such as the one in Andrews, ensuring that nuclear waste will be properly stored until a permanent site is established.”
Congressman Darrell Issa: “The Interim Consolidated Storage Act is a great solution that allows us to break through past years of political gridlock to get this waste out of our communities and into safe, secure sites that are both well-equipped and want to store it. Maintaining the status quo isn’t an option. Until we can get temporary and – ideally – permanent storage facilities open, nuclear waste will remain on-site more than 120 different sites nationwide. In my district, the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station houses more than 3.6 million pounds of nuclear material right on the coast, along a fault line, on one of the largest U.S. military bases, in the heart of one of our most densely populated communities. Allowing it to stay there indefinitely is only asking for trouble. This is just one of hundreds of examples of similar sites nationwide. This bill advances a creative solution to this problem and is a reasonable plan to get the waste moved quickly and securely.”