Strong Bipartisan Majority Approves Funding Boost for Yucca Mountain License Review

June 6, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The House of Representatives today passed an amendment to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to provide the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with additional funds to finish its review of the license application for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository. The amendment, offered by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), provides $10 million in additional funding to allow the NRC to resume its review of the license application. The amendment received broad bipartisan support and was adopted by a vote of 326 to 81, with the support of 98 Democrats. A similar measure passed the House last summer by a vote of 297-130.

Last year, the NRC failed to overturn the Atomic Safety Licensing Board’s ruling that the Department of Energy may not withdraw its application for Yucca Mountain. This decision affirmed the legal responsibility of the NRC to review the license application, but the commission still instructed the Board to close out the license review process citing inadequate funding. Shimkus’ amendment increases the provided funds in the bill from $25 million to $35 million to ensure the commission will have adequate funds to carry out the legally mandated review process.

”This vote reaffirms bipartisan determination to proceed with Yucca Mountain,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “I applaud Mr. Shimkus for offering this amendment to ensure the future of Yucca Mountain is no longer held captive to political games by allowing the NRC, as the independent objective federal agency, to finish its technical review.”

To view Shimkus’ remarks on his amendment, click here.

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