Thursday, March 25, 2010

5 Congressmen Ask DOE's Chu To Keep Yucca Mountain

Five congressmen have signed their names on a letter sent to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, urging him to reconsider removing funding from the Yucca Mountain waste repository. Chu, testifying before House and Senate committees, stated that Yucca Mountain is not environmentally sound but has not presented a scientific basis for the decision. U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and U.S. Reps. John Spratt (D-S.C.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) all signed a letter to Chu urging him to:

"withdraw the reprogramming request in recognition of congressional intent as well as the serious legal implications of an action that would also render useless billions of previously appropriated funds."
The letter outlined their belief that Chu's decision to terminate the funding and license application for the high-level waste repository are "contrary to the clear intent of Congress" and that "these actions are premature and unwise." The letter also focused on the financial implications of the decision related to the government not meeting its own standards for waste removal and management:

"For 25 years, nuclear utilities have paid fees to the government totaling more than $16 billion for waste disposal services that they have not yet received. Since 1998, utilities have filed at least 72 claims for breach of contract against (the Department of Energy) for its failures to meet these obligations. To date, the courts have awarded more than $1 billion in damage awards and settlements."
The Center supports Yucca Mountain. (, 3/23/10)

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