The Latest: US senators look to end nuclear waste stalemate

June 27, 2019 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on federal nuclear waste legislation (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

The chairwoman of a powerful U.S. Senate committee says the federal government’s failure to find a permanent solution to the nation’s growing stockpile of spent fuel from nuclear power plants is costing taxpayers more than $2 million a day.

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska led a hearing in which experts testified Thursday on legislation aimed at ending the decades-old stalemate over what to do with the waste.

While the legislation is similar to past proposals, Murkowski says it’s meant to get the conversation going again.


Industry officials say the path forward needs to include both interim storage options and plans for permanent disposal.

Environmentalists say a process is needed for ensuring consent from communities where the waste would be taken and that would have to be intertwined with shared regulatory responsibility among the federal government and states.


12:00 a.m.

A congressional panel is scheduled to hear from experts as it weighs legislation aimed at tackling the decades-old problem of how to handle spent nuclear fuel and other high-level waste that has been piling up around the United States.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday will be discussing temporary and permanent options for dealing with the waste.

Scientists, environmentalists and officials with the Nuclear Energy Institute are expected to testify.

Development of a proposed long-term storage site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain was halted during the Obama administration, although the Trump administration has moved to restart the licensing process despite stiff resistance in Nevada.

Private companies also have applied for licenses to open temporary storage facilities in New Mexico and West Texas. Those proposals also face political opposition.