NRC Finally Tallies Votes on Yucca Mountain License Review; DOE Motion to Withdraw Application is Denied

September 9, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) today responded to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's final vote on the Atomic Safety Licensing Board's ruling that Department of Energy may not withdraw its application for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository. The commission announced a tie vote of 2-2, therefore the ASLB's legal decision is not overturned and the DOE's motion to withdraw the application is not granted. While the application is still legally pending, the Commission instructed the Board to "complete all necessary and appropriate case management activities" and document the history of the adjudicatory proceeding by the end of the fiscal year.  Effective October 1, this places the license application review in a state of suspended animation awaiting a funding decision by Congress and President Obama.

Upton and Shimkus made the following statement:

"Today's action means the Yucca Mountain license application remains alive. The full House of Representatives voted this summer 297-130 on a strong bipartisan basis to increase funding for both DOE and NRC to process the license application.  We expect the Senate and the President to put politics aside and cooperate with the full House so that license review may proceed, ensuring the billions of taxpayer dollars and nearly three decades of research is not wasted. Justice delayed is justice denied. It is critical we get America's nuclear future back on track and move forward with Yucca Mountain."

For a timeline of the delays surrounding the ASLB's vote and details of the Committee's ongoing investigation, click here.