The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 3053, Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, to re-establish Yucca Mountain as the nation’s nuclear waste dump. The bipartisan vote was an overwhelming 340 in favor, to only 72 opposed.
Rep. Greg Walden from Oregon represents the people living along the Columbia River who are concerned about the waste that comes from the decommissioned Hanford Nuclear Production Complex in south-central Washington State, at the Hanford DOE Site. This alone – represents more than half the nation’s high-level radioactive waste: approximately 56-million gallons of Cold War-era nuclear material, sitting in corroding, leaking metal tanks.
Because it’s positioned along the Columbia River, many who live downstream in Oregon predict that this will eventually become an environmental disaster unless this high-level radioactive waste is placed in a secure location.
Others are excited about the reemergence and support for Yucca Mountain due to the 60,000 metric tons of used or spent fuel currently stored at the nation’s nuclear power plants. Did you know that overall, we have 121 locations in 39 states currently storing nuclear waste from military nuclear weapon stockpiles, submarines, and aircraft carriers, along with the used or “spent” fuel from commercial reactors (operating and those shuttered, as well).