On April 11, Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) called the current policies surrounding nuclear waste “appalling” during a hearing hosted by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies. The government has already paid $2.6 billion because it failed to fulfill an agreement to collect nuclear waste from certain plants. In addition, $11 million to $15 million has been spent on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository proposal; the site was designated in 1987, but the project was scrapped by the Obama administration.
At the same hearing, Assistant Energy Secretary for Nuclear Energy Peter Lyons said the Department will “cut [its] losses” on Yucca Mountain and will move forward with the alternate plan involving consent-based siting. He said forcing the project on the nearby residents will only slow progress. Dr. Lyons added the FY14 budget reforms the nuclear waste problem by increasing access to funds and by providing discretionary appropriations.