House approves additional funds for Yucca Mountain license review

The House of Representatives on June 6 passed an amendment to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to provide the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with additional funds to finish its review of the license application for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.

The amendment, offered by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), provides $10 million in additional funding to allow the NRC to resume its review of the license application. The amendment was adopted by a vote of 326 to 81.

The NRC in 2011 failed to overturn the Atomic Safety Licensing Board’s ruling that the Department of Energy may not withdraw its application for Yucca Mountain. This decision affirmed the legal responsibility of the NRC to review the license application, but the commission still instructed the Board to close out the license review process citing inadequate funding.

Shimkus’ amendment increases the provided funds in the bill from $25 million to $35 million.

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