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Inhofe Statement on License Application for Yucca Mountain
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented on the Department of Energy’s filing a license application for construction authorization to build a repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will spend the next three years analyzing the application and public comments.
"Today reflects the achievement of a significant milestone for the Yucca Mountain program," Senator Inhofe said. "Filing this application is the result of more than 25 years of study and contains over 10,000 pages reflecting work by some of the very best scientists and laboratories in the country. I have supported development of a nuclear waste repository for years. I believe it is essential to the rebirth of nuclear energy and to the clean-up of the nuclear wastes resulting from the Cold War. This program will continue to face legal battles and battles for adequate funding. I will continue to do what I can to support the program and help it cope with these challenges.
"When director Ward Sproat accepted leadership of this program two years ago, the Yucca Mountain project was coping with several challenges that threatened the Department’s ability to reach this important milestone. Today’s filing is a testament to his vision, leadership, and management. Our country has benefitted from his exemplary public service and I personally thank him for his efforts."
The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established a program to locate and develop a repository for nuclear waste, including both defense waste legacy from the Cold War and civilian-spent fuel. The task remains to develop a repository that protects public health and safety and the environment: a permanent solution for our nation’s nuclear waste. Congress has passed laws and resolutions to do it. The government has collected over $27 billion dollars from electricity consumers to pay for it. And courts have affirmed the legal obligation to do it. The NRC's review of the license application is one more step in a long and thorough process.
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