WASHINGTON—The following is a statement by Joe F. Colvin, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s 13-10 vote in favor of S.J. Res. 34. The resolution approves the site at Yucca Mountain, Nev., for the development of a repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.
“Today’s positive vote on Yucca Mountain’s suitability is another welcome display of energy and environmental leadership by members of Congress. It affirms the fact—supported by 20 years of scientific study of the site—that safe isolation of used nuclear materials at a permanent underground site is a key element of U.S. energy security, our national security, environmental protection, and the future growth of our economy.
“The scientific evaluation of Yucca Mountain is unmatched by any other comparable endeavor in the United States. Top scientists have examined every aspect of the natural environment at Yucca Mountain. Today, the committee specifically voted for the Department of Energy (DOE) to take the next step for the repository—a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The DOE will continue the scientific research through this extensive licensing review process and, if the license is approved, begin construction of the facility.
“The nuclear industry greatly appreciates the leadership of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, particularly Chairman Bingaman and Senators Murkowski and Craig. We urge the full Senate to join the House, the scientific community and a bipartisan cadre of governors, state legislators, mayors and other local officials across the nation who have endorsed the Yucca Mountain repository program.”
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.