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國際核能現況 : US commissioners call for action on used fuel
發表人 nicenter 於 2018/2/2 15:53:20 (138 人讀取)

Twenty years after the passing of the deadline for the US federal government to start accepting nuclear waste for disposal, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has called on lawmakers to support funding for the review process for the Yucca Mountain repository licence application.





Tunnel boring for exploratory activities at Yucca Mountain, pictured in 2013 (Image: DOE)


The US Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established federal responsibility for all civil used nuclear fuel and obliged the government to begin removing used fuel from nuclear facilities by 1998 for disposal in a federal facility. Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, was in 1987 designated as the sole site for the repository. The Department of Energy (DOE) in 2008 submitted a construction and operation licence application for Yucca Mountain to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). However, the US administration decided to abort the project following 2009's presidential election.


In August 2013 the federal Appeals Court ordered the NRC to resume its review of DOE's application following an appeal that was brought by NARUC, two states and others who argued that NRC ignored its statutory responsibility in terminating the review.


NARUC said the government's failure to begin accepting used nuclear fuel has resulted in more than $5 billion dollars in court-awarded damage settlements, at taxpayers' expense. Damages could reach more than $29 billion by 2022 and up to $500 million annually after 2022, it said. It called on the US administration and Congress to take immediate action to support the review of the Yucca Mountain license application.


"It has been 36 years since the Nuclear Waste Policy Act became law and 20 years since the government defaulted on its obligation. We still have no nuclear repository, and worse yet, we don’t even have the semblance of a nuclear waste programme," NARUC president John Betkoski said yesterday. "Taxpayers and ratepayers have poured literally billions into the federal nuclear waste programme and the liability costs continue to increase every day we delay. Moreover, the funding process is broken."


The US Congress in 1982 established a fund for waste management, into which nuclear utilities were required to pay a 0.1 cent/kWh levy to cover final disposal costs. NARUC said additional appropriations from the Nuclear Waste Fund are needed now to support review of the Yucca Mountain licence application. Executive director Greg White said access to fund was "effectively stymied" by Congressional budgetary process.


"The Nuclear Waste Fund currently has a balance well in excess of $30 billion and continues to earn interest of more than $1 billion a year, yet any progress on the programme is constrained by the Congressional failure to provide meaningful funding," he said.


The DOE in 2014 stopped collecting nuclear waste fees from utilities as a result of the 2013 appeals court ruling. NARUC called on Congress to "fix the funding process" and to ensure that if ratepayer collections are ever restarted, that "Congress cannot misdirect the collected fees to other unrelated projects".


NARUC, based in Washington, DC, is a non-profit organisation dedicated representing state public service commissions that regulate energy, telecommunications, power, water and transportation utilities.


Researched and written
by World Nuclear News



source:http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-US-commissioners-call-for-action-on-used-fuel-0102187.html



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