Environment Subcommittee to Hold Field Hearing on Nuclear Waste Management, Storage, and the Need for Solutions

Jun 3, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (June 3, 2019)—On Friday, June 7, 2019, Rep. Harley Rouda, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a field hearing in Laguna Niguel, California on “Examining America’s Nuclear Waste Management, Storage, and the Need for Solutions.”

 

WHERE: Chet Holifiled Federal Building, 24000 Avila Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

 

WHEN: Friday, June 7, 2019

 

TIME: 11:30 a.m. PST/2:30 P.M EST

 

The hearing will be broadcast here

 

PURPOSE

 

  • The hearing will examine the role of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in ensuring reactor safety and the management of safe storage and disposal of nuclear waste, safety risks related to nuclear waste storage, and the challenges the country faces in finding a solution for the safe storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel. 

 

  • The hearing will also explore actions that can be taken by Congress to resolve this country’s current nuclear waste storage problem.  

 

BACKGROUND

 

  • The Trump Administration has reportedly chosen to push forward with a project to designate Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository.

 

  • Despite the Trump Administration’s decision, Yucca Mountain is not seen as a viable long-term storage space for spent nuclear fuel. The State of Nevada plans to contest the licensing of Yucca Mountain.  

 

  • Proposed interim storage solutions in New Mexico and Texas have been met with concerns and opposition from advocacy groups and local communities.

 

  • Operators of decommissioned plants and host communities are tasked with deciding how to manage nuclear fuel because there is no federal permanent repository or interim storage solution for nuclear waste.

 

  • At the San Onofre nuclear generating station (SONGS), the storage of spent nuclear fuel on-site has already proven to have raised certain safety and environmental risks for nearby communities. 

 

  • The Spent Fuel Prioritization Act, introduced by Representative Mike Levin (CA-49), who represents the district where SONGS is located, and co-sponsored by Chairman Harley Rouda, would amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, directing the Secretary of Energy to prioritize waste or spent fuel from commercial sources based on the operating status of the reactor, local seismic activity, and the population of neighboring areas.

 

WITNESSES

 

Scott Morris

Region IV Administrator

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region IV

 

Tom Isaacs

Former Lead Advisor

Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

 

Daniel T. Stetson  

Vice Chairman

SONGS Community Engagement Panel

 

 

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116th Congress