Home > news > Press Releases

Press Releases

Upton issues statement after the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019 passes Committee

Committee also passed Upton’s, Dingell’s amendment to protect the Great Lakes from nuclear waste

f t # e
Washington, November 20, 2019 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today issued the following statement after the full Energy and Commerce Committee voted by voice to advance H.R. 2699 - the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019 - which would assist in the resolution of the pending permanent repository license. The NWPAA would restart the long-stalled process of licensing the repository at Yucca Mountain.

Upton is an original cosponsor of the legislation.

Upton and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) also offered a bipartisan amendment to the bill, which expressed a sense of congress to disallow the permanent or long-term storage of nuclear waste near the Great Lakes by the governments of the United States or Canada. The amendment passed unanimously.

“Nuclear fuel and other high-level waste is currently stranded at 121 sites in 39 states around the country, so the bottom line, we need a permanent solution for safely disposing spent nuclear fuel. The bipartisan legislation the committee advanced today is a critical step,” Upton said. “I’m also proud that my colleagues understand the importance of protecting the Great Lakes – which account for more than 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply. An estimated 40 million people depend on the Great Lakes for a water source. Today’s amendment sends a clear message: Congress is united against storing nuclear waste in or near the Great Lakes.”

H.R. 2699 was introduced by U.S. Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and John Shimkus (R-IL). Specifically, the legislation:

  • Assists in the resolution of the pending permanent repository license, which will allow the formal licensing process to determine if the Yucca Mountain site can be licensed and constructed; 
  • Reforms a broken financing mechanism to protect ratepayers and assure the Department of Energy (DOE) has adequate funding to construct and operate a multi-generational infrastructure project; 
  • Directs DOE to move forward with a temporary storage program to consolidate spent nuclear fuel from sites with a decommissioned reactor while work on the Yucca Mountain repository progresses, and prioritizes the transfer of spent fuel from seismically active areas to interim sites; 
  • Provides the State of Nevada and local stakeholders the opportunity to engage with the Federal government as the host State for the repository; and 
  • Protects our nation’s national security priorities by providing the most expeditious pathway to remove “defense-waste” from DOE sites

The legislation is similar to H.R. 3053, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 with bipartisan support. 

To learn more about the NWPAA of 2019, click here.

f t # e

Stay Connected

Office Locations