Senate Addresses Expired Nuclear Waste Clean Up Fund

Bill would extend the framework of current program for next 10 years
Washington, D.C. (November 15, 2007) – Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources heard testimony from Wesley Warren, director of programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to recommend reauthorization of the Uranium Decommissioning and Decontamination Fund (S. 2203), which would provide necessary funding to cleanup three nuclear waste sites.
Warren’s testimony follows the release of the Department of Energy (DOE) report on the Fund, which examines cleanup funding over the past 15 years for the three uranium enrichment sites in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Last month the fund expired, resulting in what could be an $11 billion shortfall in necessary funding.
The following is a statement by Wesley Warren, director of programs at NRDC:
“The DOE report confirms that the Fund is working and cleanup is happening at each site. However, if this bill isn’t reauthorized, those communities are looking at a funding shortfall that is nearly twice as much as we expected. The DOE report proposes no way of making sure that those responsible for cleanup keep the fund solvent.
“Without extending these contributions, the fund will go bankrupt by 2020 while cleanup is expected to extend into 2044. The cleanup work at the uranium enrichment facilities is far from over and reauthorizing the fund will ensure the longevity of environmental and taxpayer protection, and community well being through the next decade.”