Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) understands the serious need to build new nuclear power plants. He and Center President Norris McDonald, at Yucca Mountain-left, also understand how important it is to solve the waste problem. A summary of his bill that addresses nuclear waste is below:

Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act (S. 2589)

1) Withdraws specified land from all forms of entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws.
2) Transfers to the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) the land covered by such withdrawal that is under the jurisdiction of the Secretary concerned (the Secretary of the Air Force, or the Secretary of the Interior, depending upon the specific lands).
3) Reserves the land covered by the withdrawal for use by the Secretary for specified activities associated with the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
4) Revokes Public Land Order 6802 of September 25, 1990, and a certain right-of-way reservation.
5) Subjects the use of the land covered by the withdrawal to conditions the Secretary deems necessary to conduct activities related to the Yucca Mountain Project.
6) Amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 governing Yucca Mountain site application procedures to provide that an application for construction authorization shall not be required to contain information relating to any surface facility other than those necessary for initial operation of the repository.
7) Revises requirements governing Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) actions on construction applications and infrastructure activities.
8) Includes infrastructure activities within the scope of expedited authorizations.
9) Prohibits surface or subsurface mining or oil or gas production, including slant drilling from outside the boundaries of the land covered by the withdrawal.
10) Declares specified federal, state, or local regulatory requirements inapplicable to: (1) material owned by the Secretary that is transported or stored in an NRC-certified container for transportation or storage; or (2) material located at the Yucca Mountain site for disposal, if its management and disposal is subject to an NRC license.
11) Prohibits a state or local governmental entity from issuing, administering, or enforcing a new or existing air quality permit or requirement affecting a federal facility or activity subject to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.
12) Authorizes the Secretary to determine the extent to which certain transportation regulated under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994 shall instead be regulated exclusively under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.
13) Deems the use of water from any source to implement this Act to be: (1) beneficial to interstate commerce; and (2) non-detrimental to the public interest.
14) Requires the NRC, in deciding whether to permit the construction or operation of a nuclear reactor or any related facilities, to deem that sufficient capacity will be available in a timely manner to dispose of the spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste resulting from the operation of the reactor and related facilities.

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