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Watch Live: Heritage Foundation Discussion on Yucca Mountain
Inhofe Staffer to Participate on Panel
March 7, 2008

Posted by Matt Dempsey (9:30am ET)

Updated: Read the Heritage Foundation's blog for review of the event:

Heritage Panel on Yucca Concludes That Yucca Remains Top Priority

The Heritage Foundation is hosting an event this morning at 10:30am on “Yucca Mountain and the Nuclear Renaissance: Assessing the Safety and Viability of a Vital National Asset.” The event will be available to watch live on the Heritage Foundation website by clicking here.


Here are the basics as provided by the Heritage Foundation:  


Featuring Keynote Remarks by:

Edward F. Sproat III
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management,
U.S. Department of Energy

Followed by a Panel Discussion with:

Mark Peters, Ph.D.
Deputy to the Associate Laboratory Director for
Energy Sciences and Engineering,
Argonne National Laboratory

Steven Kraft
Senior Director,
Used Fuel Management,
Nuclear Energy Institute

Annie Caputo
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works



Annie Caputo, EPW Committee Professional Staff for Ranking Member Senator Inhofe, will participate on the panel. Look for her to discuss that after 26 years and $11 billion dollars, Yucca Mountain remains over a decade from commencement of operations. She will speak about the frustration over these continuing delays and the anticipated development of a fleet of new reactors and has prompted questions about whether to give up on Yucca and look for other options, namely interim storage, reprocessing or some combination of the two.


These options that Caputo will speak to are fraught with challenges not unlike those facing Yucca Mountain: where to put it, how to pay for it, how long it would take, and how to ensure that you don’t merely start a new political battle on another front.  And, after all that, you STILL need a repository.


For all these reasons and many more, Sen. Inhofe strongly believes that a safe repository can and should be developed at Yucca Mountain. As a result, Senator Inhofe, together with Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Larry Craig (R-ID), Lamar Alexander (R-TN),   Kit Bond (R-MO),  Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), introduced the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2008, a bill that reforms the licensing process for authorizing construction, operation, and closure of the Yucca Mountain repository.  Upon introduction, Senator Inhofe stated in remarks to the Senate:

 “I believe that a vibrant and growing nuclear energy industry is vital to the energy security of our nation and the health of our economy. I am concerned, however, that continuing delays in opening our nation’s repository at Yucca Mountain will hinder the resurgence of nuclear energy in the U.S.  The task before us therefore is to develop a repository that protects public health, public safety and the environment by providing a permanent solution for our nation’s nuclear waste.  It’s high time that we accomplish this task.  We’ve passed laws and resolutions to do it.  We’ve collected over $27 billion from electricity consumers to pay for it. And courts have affirmed that we have a legal obligation to do it. As the generation that has benefited from the use of nuclear energy and the resulting spent fuel, I believe it is incumbent upon us to manage spent fuel in a manner that is fair to current generations and generations to come.  I am introducing a bill today that will do just that.”

Further, since joining the EPW Committee in 1995, Senator Inhofe has worked closely with committee members to increase critical oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). As a result of our vigilant oversight, the NRC has moved to a risk-based regulatory process that is more objective, efficient, and predictable. For the first time in over 30 years, utilities are planning to build new nuclear plants, and the NRC is far better prepared to process those applications because of these improvements.

Read more about Senator Inhofe's work on nuclear issues:

EPW Committee White Paper: Yucca Mountain: The Most Studied Real Estate on the Planet

September 27, 2007: Nuclear Power Use Must Be Expanded (The Hill)

June 27, 2007America’s Energy Future Needs To Be Stable, Diverse And Affordable The Hill (Roll Call)

January 25, 2007:  America, Needs A Stable, Diverse And Affordable Energy Supply (Human Events)

June 07, 2006: Expanding Nuclear Energy Is A Move We Must Commit To (The Hill)

Yucca Mountain Bill Introduced

TEN YEARS OVERDUE: January 31, 2008 Marks the 10th Anniversary of DOE's Deadline to Dispose Of Nuclear Waste



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