WASHINGTON — The new chairman of a Senate energy panel on Thursday announced he plans to concentrate on nuclear power this year, which includes a bid to finish an impasse on nuclear waste created when the Yucca Mountain repository was terminated.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told a nuclear market audience he would convene a series of hearings on nuclear power as the new leader of the Senate energy and water subcommittee.
Amongst the subjects: nuclear waste, exactly where a quantity of Republicans and some Democrats want to find a way to resurrect the Yucca system regardless of a vow from Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., that the contentious Nevada project “will never see the light of day.”
“There is renewed hope beneath our Republican majority that we can resolve the 25-year-old stalemate on what to do with waste from our nuclear reactors — and Yucca Mountain can and need to be element of the solution,” Alexander mentioned in a speech to about 150 folks at the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Alexander said he along with Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will reintroduce a bill to authorize short-term storage websites to consolidate nuclear waste now kept at energy plants.
The bill also would authorize the Division of Power to start recruiting states willing to host a permanent repository that he said could supplement Yucca Mountain when the Nevada internet site would be filled to a 77,000-ton capacity.
The measure would incorporate numerous of the suggestions of a blue ribbon commission that President Barack Obama formed right after ending the Yucca program, like a contact that a search for a new repository be “consent-based” rather than imposed on a state, as was what occurred in the selection of Nevada.
After the speech, Alexander told reporters his plan to overcome Reid’s determined opposition to Yucca Mountain was to “keep trying.” He declined to guess how senators would vote on Yucca Mountain if a vote have been held.
“There are lots of Senate impasses,” he said. “The only point I know to do is to have excellent humor and seek advice from, seek advice from, seek the advice of. There is a lot of interest in the Residence of Representatives in opening Yucca Mountain. We are going to hold pushing new repositories, and these of us who assistance Yucca Mountain are going to hold pushing that.”
Alexander’s state has a history with nuclear energy, and he is 1 of the Senate’s major advocates of the energy source.
Tennessee is home to 3 nuclear plants operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority that create 36 percent of the state’s electrical energy, and a fourth is being built, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. The town of Oak Ridge was established for the duration of Planet War II as element of the nuclear bomb developing Manhattan Project and today is home to the sprawling Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In his speech, Alexander named for a constant part for nuclear power in the nation’s electricity mix. He advocated creating a lot more nuclear reactors, relieving “excessive regulation” of nuclear plant builders and operators, doubling power study and ending “wasteful” tax credits for wind energy and other sources that compete with nuclear energy.