Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

David Lungren (202) 224-5642

Inhofe Comments on Yucca Mountain Application

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Construction Authorization Board decision to deny the Department of Energy's (DOE) motion to withdraw the Yucca Mountain application.  The NRC's Construction Authorization Board ruled against DOE's motion to withdraw, stating: "...the NWPA (Nuclear Waste Policy Act) does not give the Secretary the discretion to substitute his policy for the one established by Congress in the NWPA that, at this point, mandates progress toward a merits decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the construction permit."

"I'm glad to see that the Construction Authorization Board agrees with me that DOE does not have the authority to withdraw the application to build a repository at Yucca Mountain," Senator Inhofe said.  "Certainly, DOE Secretary Chu has given no reason for the NRC to cease its safety review other than stating that Yucca Mountain is no longer 'a workable option.'  While such comments may serve a political purpose, I'm glad the Construction Authorization Board has chosen to base its decision on the law."