Rep. Newhouse to Tour Yucca Mountain

April 2, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement about his participation in a bipartisan congressional visit to the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain on April 9. Led by House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on the Environment and the Economy Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), this exploratory trip continues congressional oversight of the administration’s termination of the project and will help inform Congress’ efforts to establish a workable, long-term nuclear waste solution. Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Bob Latta (R-OH), Cresent Hardy (R-NV), and Mark Amodei (R-NV) will also join the tour.

“I look forward to this congressional oversight tour focused on continuing Yucca Mountain, which remains the sole permanent repository for the nation’s nuclear waste under the law,” said Rep. Newhouse. “After decades of work and billions of taxpayer dollars, Hanford cleanup and efforts to expand nuclear power depend on the completion of Yucca as part of the nation’s solution for nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel.”

BACKGROUND: Congress originally selected Yucca Mountain as the site for the nation's nuclear waste repository in the 1980s. The Yucca project was nearing the finish line with DOE's submission of a construction license application, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission docketed for review in September 2008 and a decision was expected within four years.

In 2010, despite Congress’ continued bipartisan support for Yucca Mountain, the Obama administration decided to terminate the project, attempting to withdraw DOE’s license application from the NRC’s review. In August 2013, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the NRC must resume its review of DOE’s license application. One of the first steps in restarting the licensing was for NRC to release Volume III of the Safety Evaluation Report. The report, which was finally released in October 2014, concluded that the Department of Energy’s license application meets the long-term nuclear waste repository regulatory and safety requirements, including that Yucca Mountain would remain safe for at least a million years. To learn more about the history of Yucca Mountain and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight of the issue, visit: