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Pfluger introduces legislation to prohibit federal funding for private interim nuclear waste storage

Representante de Estados Unidos August Pfluger.
Representante de Estados Unidos August Pfluger.
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 11:20 AM CST
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WASHINGTON, DC (KOSA) -Representative August Pfluger (TX-11) joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03) introducing legislation to prevent private interim nuclear waste storage sites from becoming de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.

Both Texas and New Mexico have objected to the placement of these storage facilities in their states.

Rep.Pfluger said this legislation has been needed for a long time.

“It is long overdue for the federal government to locate a permanent repository for our nation’s nuclear waste,” Pfluger said. “ We must send this dangerous material to a final resting place—not increase risk with an interim site. I am proud to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and the Senate, to champion this effort to keep nuclear waste out of our communities in the Permian Basin.”

Senator Cruz said that this bill will keep funds intended for permanent nuclear waste storage from being used for temporary storage.

“Nuclear energy can be reliable, affordable, and a great way to meet growing energy demands. This bill would prevent temporary nuclear storage from being built and transported in Texas and elsewhere, funded by fees intended for permanent storage,” said Senator Cruz. “Congress needs to implement permanent nuclear waste solutions, not settle for interim storage that concerns Texas communities.”

Senator Heinrich said providing this kind of nuclear waste storage was not something New Mexico signed up for.

“Until the Department of Energy fulfills its statutory responsibility to provide permanent waste disposal, interim sites can become permanent sites. That is not something my state is signed up for,” Senator Heinrich said. “That’s why I’m proud to lead this bipartisan legislation to prevent New Mexico from ending up with a long-term nuclear waste storage problem that was supposed to be a short-term solution.”

The legislation prohibits the use of federal funds from being used to carry out any activities at private interim storage sites.

The legislation also requires the U.S. Department of Energy to submit a report on possible locations, or a description of a possible siting process, for future federal consolidated interim storage facilities and repositories of spent nuclear fuel. The bill does not:

  • Prevent any governmental agency charged with the mission to consolidate, store, and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and related radioactive wastes from engaging in that mission to the extent allowed by the existing federal law.
  • Prevent the movement of private nuclear generator spent nuclear fuel from one existing (10 CFR 72-licensed) Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) to another existing (10 CFR 72 or 10 CFR 50-licensed) ISFSI.

Read the full text of the bill by clicking here.

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