Letter: We’ll put Canada’s waste where?
By: John Kline, Lakeville, Minn., The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
During an Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. nuclear weapons policy, I asked Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Thomas D’Agostino how the administration planned to store defense nuclear waste if they succeed in shutting down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.
Rather than directly address short-term and long-term storage of defense spent nuclear waste, D’Agostino instead discussed a “Blue Ribbon Commission” that he said should address my concerns and issue a report in 18 months.
I expressed my frustration to the secretary about further delays.
As you know, we have a nuclear power plant in the 2nd District — the Prairie Island plant —where casks upon casks of spent fuel are piling up.
Meanwhile, the administration withdrew the Yucca Mountain license application, provided no funds in the budget, and terminated the Yucca Mountain Repository Program.
Ironically, the day before the Armed Services hearing, the president hosted a nuclear summit in Washington, where he pledged to accept and store Canada’s spent nuclear waste.
The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 calls for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository. Through extensive research and analysis, Congress ultimately restricted the repository site to Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
While the law of the land clearly demonstrates that Yucca Mountain is the permanent repository for spent nuclear waste, the Department of Energy has halted any movement to remove the nuclear waste from Goodhue County or other nuclear power plants. To add insult to injury, the administration is committing to store Canada’s waste on our soil as well.
The president’s promise begs the question: Where?
Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in an isolated, military secure location, in a facility designed for permanent storage may not be the ideal solution. But is better than leaving it where it sits: near our communities and families.
John Kline, a Republican, represents Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District.