Inhofe Statement on EPA’s Yucca Mountain Radiation Protection Standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on the EPA’s finalization of the million-year radiation protection standard for the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
“I commend the EPA for completing the revised radiation protection standard,” Senator Inhofe said. “I knew revising this standard would be difficult for the agency when, at the direction of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it became apparent the standard must protect public health and safety for an unprecedented million years. Completion of this standard demonstrates progress toward a much needed solution for our nation’s nuclear waste. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission now has the last tool it needs -- with the exception of adequate Congressional funding -- to complete its objective and thorough review of the proposed repository.”
In September 2008, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted and began reviewing the DOE’s license application for construction authorization to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the Commission is to complete its review within three years with a possible one-year extension. However, Congressional attempts to limit funding for the NRC’s review could stretch the process out even longer. Senator Inhofe has previously observed that all stakeholders are best served by a rigorous and timely review of the application but the NRC should not and will not compromise safety and security by rushing its decision-making process.