PLYMOUTH – State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R – Plymouth and Barnstable) wrote to the Commonwealth’s Attorney General Tuesday requesting a meeting to discuss the federal government’s failure to implement the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and the immediate issues and on-going risks that the federal government’s failure presents for the communities near the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
In his letter to the Attorney General he requested a meeting to discuss two efforts.
DeMacedo has asked the Attorney General to provide a formal legal opinion regarding the ownership and control of the spent fuel nuclear waste currently being stored on-site at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s Plymouth location.
The Senator also asked the Attorney General to have her office file suit, on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth, to force the federal government to implement the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act that was enacted 32 years ago.
Those requirements include accepting title to the spent nuclear fuel if they have not already done so, transporting that spent fuel to a nuclear waste repository, and safely storing it in that repository.
Senator deMacedo said, “It’s been 32 since Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. 32 Years. I believe it’s outrageous that the federal government’s failure to implement this critical law has been allowed to happen. In April of 2011, the Obama administration terminated funding for the Yucca Mountain waste site. As a direct result, all civilian nuclear sites in the U.S., including the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, do not currently have a long-term storage site, facility or alternative other than on-site storage. The federal government’s inaction and subsequent de facto closure of the Yucca Mountain site has made these civilian reactors, in effect, nuclear waste repositories.”
DeMacedo said that based on the administration’s action it’s not surprising that the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled, in light of the Department of Energy’s termination of the Yucca Mountain repository program, that the department could not continue to collect the surcharge of one-tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour on consumers of nuclear-generated electricity. It’s estimated this fund has a balance of over $20 billion dollars – more than $185 million of which has been collected from consumers in the Commonwealth.
“I believe that money should be provided to the Commonwealth and the impacted communities on the South Shore and Cape to begin addressing and mitigating the three decade long failures of the federal government,” deMacedo said.
DeMacedo added, “For more than 30 years, this critical issue has been decided by politics-as-usual. That’s unacceptable. That’s why I have invited every member of our regional delegation – Democrats and Republicans alike – to join me in asking the Attorney General for her active support and assistance. This issue isn’t about local, partisan politics; it’s about the safety of our citizens. This is a federal issue. The law is clear. The United States Congress made the commitment, consumers have paid the bill, and now it’s time for the federal government to comply with the law.”