Rep. Walden Helps Pass Nuclear Waste Cleanup Bill

Walden invoked the Hanford Site—on the Washington side of the Columbia River—which houses millions of gallons of nuclear waste in rapidly aging containers.

Posted: May 10, 2018 3:51 PM
Updated: May 10, 2018 3:56 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill intended to hasten nuclear waste cleanup efforts passed the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support on Thursday.

“The Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, just up the mighty Columbia River from where I live and where I grew up, helped us win World War II," said Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River). "The site’s nuclear program was instrumental in projecting peace through strength throughout the Cold War. While the community has been a constructive partner in support of our vital national security missions, it did not agree to serve as a perpetual storage site for the resulting nuclear waste.”

At the core of the bill is an initiative to revive the idling Yucca Mountain project—creating a permanent repository for the nation's nuclear waste at a relatively remote desert region in Nevada, adjacent to a nuclear testing site.

The Yucca Mountain project stalled during the Obama Administration amid opposition (primarily from parties local to Nevada or the area nearby Yucca Mountain). At the time, the administration hoped to find an alternative site.

“56 millions of gallons of this toxic waste are sitting in decades-old metal tanks at Hanford—like the ones pictured here. The amount of waste stored at Hanford could fill the entire House Chamber 20 times," said Walden.

"According to a recent GAO report, the oldest of these tanks, some of which date back to the 1940s, have single-layer walls, or shells; and were built to last about 20 years. They will be almost 100 years old by the estimated end of waste treatment. The Department of Energy has reported that 67 of these tanks are assumed or are known to have leaked waste into the soil. There is an understandable sense of urgency behind the cleanup efforts underway at Hanford.”

The bill, known as the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act (H.R. 3053) passed Walden's House Energy and Commerce Committee in a 49-4 vote last year. It passed the House at large on Thursday in a 340-72 vote.

Currently, spent nuclear fuel is in temporary storage at sites like Hanford in 121 communities across 39 states.

A brief explanation of the Nuclear Waste Policy bill may be read here.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4399

Reported Deaths: 159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah119462
Marion99926
Washington75218
Clackamas32412
Deschutes1280
Umatilla1233
Linn1199
Polk10112
Lane773
Yamhill747
Jackson680
Benton575
Jefferson450
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas280
Wasco281
Hood River280
Josephine231
Lincoln180
Columbia160
Morrow120
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119348

Reported Deaths: 4374
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles582612489
Riverside8155342
San Diego7674276
Orange6678158
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda354897
Santa Clara2832144
San Francisco261343
Kern241840
San Mateo221284
Tulare202690
Imperial202529
Fresno191437
Santa Barbara169714
Contra Costa151338
Sacramento146358
Kings11686
Ventura116434
San Joaquin108035
Stanislaus76730
Monterey58610
Sonoma5794
Solano54722
Marin50617
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2791
Placer2409
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21324
Napa1243
Madera1173
Humboldt1034
El Dorado960
San Benito902
Butte551
Nevada481
Del Norte470
Sutter462
Shasta404
Mono371
Yuba311
Mendocino300
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Lassen50
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 56°
Grants Pass
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 59°
Klamath Falls
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 56°
Warm & dry Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events