By Cari Hachmann
U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) announced on Thursday, May 23, that the House Appropriations Committee has approved $25 million for a consolidated interim storage program at the Department of Energy to remove spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plant sites across the country, including the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
Last month, Levin authored a letter, signed by 14 other members of Congress, urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to fund activities that would expedite the removal of spent nuclear fuel at SONGS and decommissioned nuclear plants across the county.
The letter called for $25 million in federal funding to support the development of a (CIS) program at the DOE, complete the necessary applications, and assist with site preparation activities and regional transportation efforts of spent nuclear fuel.
“I have said time and time again that the safest thing for my constituents is to move the nuclear waste at SONGS to a site that is not surrounded by millions of people and threatened by earthquakes and sea level rise,” said Rep. Levin, in a May 23 press release from his office. “I am grateful to the Appropriations Committee for approving my funding request, which would expedite the removal of spent nuclear fuel from SONGS and other decommissioning nuclear plants across the country, and I hope that process can begin as quickly as possible.”
Specifically, Levin requested $10 million for the initiation of a robust CIS program at DOE; $10 million for site preparation activities at Stranded Fuel sites preparing to move spent nuclear fuel to interim storage facilities; and $5 million to support DOE’s efforts to reinitiate Regional Transport compacts and transportation coordination.
That funding is pending final enactment of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.