WASHINGTON, District of Columbia – It has been 35 years since Congress promised to find a storage solution for the nation’s nuclear waste. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) took to the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday to say Congress must act now to fulfill that promise.
“This is an example of what the liquid waste – the waste at Hanford – will end up being,” Walden said, holding up a piece of glass. “It will look like this in a big cylinder. It is glass.”
Walden, who chairs the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, says the United States is paying $200 million a day for storage of nuclear waste in 39 states because Congress has failed to find a solution. He is supporting a bill that would reinstate Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the cornerstone of the nation’s nuclear waste storage program.
He told his peers that politics is the reason that Hanford remains contaminated.
“Political silence has deprived the public of the actual science to prove that nuclear waste can be safely and permanently disposed of,” he said.
Taxpayers face a liability because of the government’s failure to construct and safely dispose of nuclear waste as required by law according to Monday’s testimony from the bill’s supporters. The majority of Nevada’s congressional delegation and the governor are opposed to storing nuclear waste produced in other states in Nevada.