For Immediate Release

August 4, 2006

Contact: Lindsay Jackson       

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Charles Bass joined with Governor John Lynch in sending letters of strong opposition to a proposal in the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, H.R. 5427, that could lead to "temporary" storage of nuclear waste in New Hampshire and could postpone the opening of a permanent storage facility in Nevada.

Congressman Bass's letter to Senator Pete V. Domenici, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development stated, "I am writing to express my strong opposition to Section 313 of the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2007 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am concerned that this proposal will unintentionally undermine years of work to find the permanent solution that Yucca Mountain, Nevada, now represents."

Yucca Mountain is part of the national plan to establish a single long-term depository of nuclear waste. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Congress and President Bush approved the site's design as geologically suitable to be nation's permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Recent planning by the DOE determined the site could be ready to receive waste in 2017.

Section 313 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill is designed to provisionally dispose of the nation's reactor fuel in the temporary facilities which would require the financing of additional infrastructure. This provision would also divert resources from the Nuclear Waste Fund.

"I fully agree with Governor Lynch that the security concerns in today's environment argue more strongly than ever for the unified national storage facility.  In addition, all too often so-called "temporary" solutions end up being permanent," Bass said.

H.R. 5427 is currently pending before the Senate and will then be reconciled in Conference with the House version of the bill, which does not contain the objectionable provision.