WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after cosponsoring H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act:
“Folks in the 2nd district, especially those who live near or work at Prairie Island, need a government that disposes of nuclear waste in a safe, efficient, and prompt manner. To that end, the federal government has a decades-old designated site at Yucca Mountain in the middle of the desert.
“Opposition to this workable solution has dragged on for too long, and I’m glad to support this legislation to get waste out of the 2nd district and into a safe storage facility. I’ll keep working towards a speedy reopening of the Yucca Mountain site.”
Background: the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act would make major updates to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) nuclear waste management program and how spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) are stored and disposed of. The bill authorizes interim storage and qualifies the state of Nevada to enter into an agreement with DOE over Yucca Mountain as a permanent disposal repository. The site at Yucca Mountain was first designated in 1987, and taxpayers have already paid $4.4 billion towards the government’s environmental liability for SNF, despite the Yucca Mountain site not having been opened.