No, not with the filibuster…..with actual nuclear materials.

Last week, Congress held hearings on the draft Nuclear Waste Administration Act (NWAA S.1240), a sorely-needed piece of legislation that would resurrect our zombie nuclear waste disposal program.

NWAA S.1240 is the product of the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission and Congress, especially Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Alexander (R-TN), Wyden (D-OR) and Murkowski (R-AK). The BRC, whose task it was to break this nation’s nuclear logjam, made some very astute observations and formed some very clever recommendations that, if followed at all, would lead to an equitable solution to an old decaying problem.

NWAA S.1240 is the first embodiment of these recommendations, and would create a new and independent Nuclear Waste Administration (NWA) to manage nuclear waste, construct an interim storage facility(s) and site a permanent waste repository through a consent-based process. All funded by on-going fees collected from nuclear power ratepayers (the Nuclear Waste Fund) and some funding from the Department of Energy.

In this bill, the NWA Administrator is given tremendous flexibility in negotiating compacts with state, local, and tribal governments. Governors become the primary state officials responsible for entering into agreements with the NWA. Only after most issues are settled does ratification by Congress occur.

By James Conca

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