WA State Attorney General's Office Testifies at Nuclear Waste Po - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA State Attorney General's Office Testifies at Nuclear Waste Policy for Congressional Committee

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- In an effort to get things moving along at Yucca Mountain, the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy heard from local and national officials in Washington D.C. on Friday.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners say since 1982 more than 40 billion dollars in direct payments and interest have been paid to the U.S. nuclear waste fund but so far there is nothing to show for it.

The Washington State Attorney Generals office, who is also currently suing the Department of Energy said their biggest concern is getting nuclear waste out of failing underground single shelled tanks at Hanford and into a glass form.

However, moving forward the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is asking DOE to finish up their construction application for Yucca Mountain but there are a few things they have to do before that.

"In a clear blunt order, the federal court included that the NRC has declined to continue that statutorily mandated Yucca Mountain licensing process that, as things stand, the commission is simply flouting the law," explained Andrew Fitz with the Washington State Attorney General's Office.

"Addressing groundwater issues has not been completed. Therefore, the NRC staff is not recommending issuance of a construction authorization at this time," said Josephine Piccone, the NRC Yucca Mountain Directorate.

The NRC said a hearing will have to take place before any approval, the only problem is they do not have enough money to even hold it. Not only are there 300 legal issues left to sort out but they need 330 million dollars to hold the hearing.