Groups seek EPA funding for updated nuclear waste rules

By Sean Reilly | 06/24/2024 04:12 PM EDT

The rulemaking would not affect Congress’ deliberations on long-term waste storage.

Nuclear waste storage silos.

Nuclear waste storage silos in 2022 at Columbia Generating Station near Richland, Washington. Francis Chung/POLITICO

A coalition that includes both industry and environmental groups wants lawmakers to boost EPA spending next year by $3 million to update nuclear waste repository regulations.

The extra money for EPA’s Office of Radiation and Indoor Air in fiscal 2025 would pay for “a new, technology-neutral, generic protection standard that reflects modern, international practices and that would apply to future high-level nuclear waste disposal facilities,” said a letter released Monday.

The American Nuclear Society and 11 other organizations joined the letter to House and Senate appropriators. Other signers include The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council.


Current U.S. requirements for a long-term geologic repository are “inconsistent” with international regulations, the groups wrote, adding that a new standard would take five to ten years to develop and have no impact on the dormant Yucca Mountain project.