Senate approves Zorn resolution urging safe, permanent nuclear spent fuel storage

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s resolution calling for the completion of federal facilities for safe storage of spent nuclear fuel.

“We need a safe, permanent waste storage site that is not on the shores of the Great Lakes,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Over the last 30 years, the nuclear power industry and its customers have paid the federal government more than $31 billion to construct a permanent repository for nuclear waste, and yet the federal government has failed American families and electrical ratepayers.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, sponsored by Zorn, urge 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 failure of the federal government to open a repository according to the law puts at risk the security of nuclear waste and the safety of our population within our local communities,” Zorn said. “The time is now to send a message to our leaders in Washington D.C. that they need to live up to their responsibility to open a permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste.

“The Nuclear Waste Fund contains more than enough money to pay for this site, and I believe we are standing up for all Michigan residents by urging completion of the site.”