September 21, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin Introduces Legislation to Foster Innovation in Storage and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Research and Development Act, H.R. 8258, to foster innovation in the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The bill would create a spent nuclear fuel research and development program at the Department of Energy, which would support options for dry cask storage, consolidated interim storage, deep geological storage and disposal, and used nuclear fuel transportation. In total, the program would be authorized at more than $500 million over five years.

“The spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre and other decommissioned plants across the country poses serious risks to our health and safety, and we must strive to find new solutions to store and dispose of the waste responsibly,” said Rep. Levin. “As my San Onofre Task Force made clear in its report, the Department of Energy must do more to develop new solutions to the challenges our nation faces with spent nuclear fuel. This bill would bring us one step closer to getting the waste at San Onofre off of our beach, and that remains one of my top priorities.”

In response to the San Onofre Task Force Report, Rep. Levin committed to working with appropriate federal agencies and the nuclear industry to authorize and develop a program that incentivizes spent nuclear fuel storage innovation through research and development, with the goal of discovering alternate ways to isolate nuclear material from humans and the environment. The Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Research and Development Act mirrors a provision in Rep. Conor Lamb’s (D-PA) Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act.