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News May 21, 2013 - 2:30:47 PM

Murphy calls for national plan for spent nuclear fuel storage

By U.S. Senator Chris Murphy's office

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced his support for a bill being crafted in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that would establish a new nuclear waste administration and create a consent-based process for siting nuclear waste facilities. Currently there is no central repository for spent nuclear fuel in the United States, leaving spent fuel rods to be stored on-site at dozens of commercial nuclear facilities around the country, including areas that are at risk of earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters.

In Connecticut, there are two nuclear plant sites where over 2,000 metric tons of spent fuel are currently stored. In his letter, Murphy explained that the spent fuel was never designed to remain in Connecticut, but because of the federal government’s failure to develop a permanent solution to handle nuclear waste, the spent fuel has remained in the state for decades. In the absence of a federal solution for spent fuel storage, the state siting council recently agreed to expand storage capacity in Waterford for spent fuel produced by the Millstone nuclear plant.

“While reasonable people can disagree about the viability of nuclear power over the long-term here in the U.S., the reality is that we have 102 operating nuclear reactors here in the U.S., and most are slated to run for decades more,” said Murphy. “Reactors like the ones in Waterford are producing waste, and we owe it to the people of Southeastern Connecticut to take care of that waste in the smartest, safest manner possible. That’s why I’m hopeful that, in this session of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats can work together to makes this much-needed solution into a real-life success.”

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