Legislature approves Zorn resolution urging safe, permanent nuclear waste storage

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s resolution calling for the completion of federal facilities for safe storage of spent nuclear fuel. The concurrent resolution had previously been approved by the Senate.

“With the approval of this resolution, the Michigan Legislature is sending a united message that the time has come for our leaders in Washington D.C. to live up to their responsibility to open a permanent repository for nuclear waste,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The failure of the federal government to open a storage facility as required by law puts at risk the security of nuclear waste and the safety of our population within our local communities.

“This is especially true for people of Michigan and the Great Lakes basin. We need a permanent and safe storage site that is not on the shores of the world’s largest collection of fresh water.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 urges the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to fulfill their obligation to establish a permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste.

In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act requiring the federal government to follow a strict timeline for building a permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants. According to the act, the repository should have started accepting waste by 1998.

In 2002, President Bush and Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site of a safe nuclear waste repository for the U.S.

“The federal government continues to fail our families and electrical ratepayers with their inaction,” Zorn said. “For more than three decades, the nuclear power industry and its customers have paid the federal government billions of dollars to construct a permanent storage repository for high-level nuclear waste, and yet nuclear spent fuel continues to be stored at temporary sites in Michigan.”