Lawmakers summon nuclear chief to testify about waste site

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“Our country has invested 30 years and $15 billion in determining whether Yucca Mountain would be a safe repository,” they wrote in a letter to the NRC. “The NRC is this nation’s nuclear safety regulator and its reputation for independence and objectivity rests on its transparency in this matter. As such, NRC’s objective, scientific findings regarding the safety of Yucca Mountain would provide the public an independent, authoritative assessment of this important project.”

Congress called for the site to be built in the 1980s, but President Obama ordered that the NRC halt its review of the Yucca Mountain site in 2010. He promised to kill the project in Nevada, where local officials have largely opposed it, during the 2008 presidential campaign.

A ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, however, called that action illegal and ordered the agency to get back to work.

The NRC has previously claimed that it did not have enough money to finish the review.

The House lawmakers want the NRC to release a safety evaluation report on the proposed site as well as monthly progress reports and an explanation about the steps the agency has taken to comply with the court order.

Shimkus and Upton requested that the hearing take place on September 10.