Gov. Lynch Protests Proposal For Long-Term Nuclear Waste Storage in Individual States

For Immediate Release
August 2, 2006
Communications Director
Office of the Governor
603-271-2121

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today protested a proposal under consideration in the U.S. Senate that could lead to the long-term storage of nuclear waste at Seabrook Station and Vermont Yankee nuclear power plants.

Gov. Lynch today sent a letter to United States Senate Senator Pete Domenici, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development, to express his strong opposition to HR 5427, to create storage sites for spent nuclear fuel at up to 31 state locations. These storage facilities would be located at nuclear power plants such as Seabrook Station and Vermont Yankee.

"This proposal is wrong for the health and safety of the citizens of New Hampshire, and for people across the nation," Gov. Lynch said. "New Hampshire ratepayers have put millions of dollars in a federal fund to create one secure national repository for these fuels. The federal government should not reverse course now - without even consulting with the states."

The Nuclear Waste Fund, into which New Hampshire and other states' ratepayers have deposited millions of dollars for development of the permanent high-level waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would be diverted to create these storage facilities.

"Yucca Mountain has been approved by Congress as part of a national plan to establish a single long-term repository of these wastes. It should move towards completion, and the Nuclear Waste Fund monies collected for that purpose left intact. The single long-term repository should not be jeopardized by diversion of millions of dollars to create state-by-state storage sites," Gov. Lynch wrote.

A copy of Gov. Lynch's letter follows.

# # #

August 2, 2006

The Honorable Pete V. Domenici, Chair
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Energy and Water Development
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Nuclear Waste Storage Facilities; H.R. 5427

Dear Senator Domenici:

I write in opposition to the proposal in the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, HR 5427, to create storage sites for spent nuclear fuel at up to 31 state locations. These storage facilities, located at nuclear power plants such as Seabrook Station in Seabrook, New Hampshire and Vermont Yankee in Vernon, Vermont, near the New Hampshire border, would store high-level nuclear waste for 25 years. The Nuclear Waste Fund, into which New Hampshire and other states' ratepayers have deposited millions of dollars for development of the permanent high-level waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would be diverted to create these storage facilities.

Yucca Mountain has been approved by Congress as part of a national plan to establish a single long-term repository of these wastes. It should move towards completion, and the Nuclear Waste Fund monies collected for that purpose left intact. The single long-term repository should not be jeopardized by diversion of millions of dollars to create state-by-state storage sites.

Decades of storage of high level waste in the states is an abrupt change from the national policy that led to approval of Yucca Mountain and is unwise. Creating 31 state facilities for high level waste raises serious security concerns. This is particularly true in the aftermath of September 11, when it became chillingly clear the potential of nuclear power plants to be used against our citizens in a terrorist plot. Now, more than ever, we should remain committed to the completion of the Yucca Mountain repository.

I oppose any effort to create state-by-state storage facilities for spent nuclear waste, with ratepayer monies collected for the purpose of completing the nation's long-term storage repository.

Sincerely,

John H. Lynch
Governor