Society News Archive

26 June 2013
Nuclear Waste Legislation

Four senior U.S. senators introduced a bipartisan, comprehensive plan for safeguarding and permanently disposing of tens of thousands of tons of dangerous radioactive nuclear waste currently accumulating at sites dispersed across the country.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.—the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development—and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, collaborated on the proposal, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 (S. 1240).

The bill updates an April draft, after the Energy and Natural Resources Committee received more than 2,500 public comments on the measure. It includes establishment of a new nuclear waste administration and creates a consent-based process for siting nuclear waste facilities. It also enables the federal government to address its commitment to managing commercial nuclear waste, limiting the costly liability the government bears for its failure to dispose of commercial spent fuel. The integrated storage and repository system established by this legislation will expand opportunities for nuclear power to supply low-carbon energy and will provide long-term protection of public health and safety for both commercial and defense high-level waste. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee is planning a hearing on the bill in July. The date and witnesses will be announced when they are confirmed. Click here for a one-page summary of the waste bill.

Read more at the Energy and Natural Resources Senate Committee website.