Radioactive Waste

No safe, permanent solution has yet been found anywhere in the world - and may never be found - for the nuclear waste problem. In the U.S., the only identified and flawed high-level radioactive waste deep repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been canceled. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an end to the production of nuclear waste and for securing the existing reactor waste in hardened on-site storage.



Nuke waste dump/Mobile Chernobyl bill heads to U.S. House floor -- Urge your U.S. Rep. to block it!

Despite a 50-group environmental coalition in opposition, H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017, as amended, passed the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee by a vote of 49 to 4 (see the text of the bill, as well as the four amendments now attached to it, here).

All Republican members, and all but four Democrats (Schakowsky of IL, Ben Lujan of NM, Loebsack of IA, and Engel of NY) who were present, voted in favor of reviving the cancelled Yucca Mountain, NV high-level radioactive waste dump, and legalizing private de facto permanent parking lot dumps, targeted at TX and NM.

If enacted, the legislation could pave the way for unprecedented numbers of irradiated nuclear fuel truck and train, as well as barge, shipments to begin moving in just a few years, through most states, many major cities, and most U.S. congressional districts, risking Mobile Chernobyls, Floating Fukushimas, and Dirty Bombs on Wheels.

If any of the four Dems above, who voted right, is your U.S. Rep., please thank them by calling their office via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.

If your U.S. Rep. is on the committee and voted wrong, express your disapproval and urge they change their vote.

Now that the bill is moving to the U.S. House floor, likely in the near future, everyone should contact their own U.S. Rep., and urge opposition to this very dangerous bill.

See Beyond Nuclear's press statement about H.R. 3053, for ideas on points to communicate to your U.S. Rep.

You can look up your U.S. Rep.'s full contact info. at this website, by typing in your ZIP code in the upper right, clicking GO, and following the internet links.


NIRS: Save the Date: Don't Waste America Telebriefing--Thursday, July 13th!

Announcement from our friends and colleagues at Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS):

Save the Date: Don't Waste America Telebriefing--Thursday, July 13th!

Dear Friend,

Please join us for our live national telebriefing, Don't Waste America!, on Thursday, July 13th, 8pm-9:30pm (EDT)/7:00pm (CDT)/6:00 pm (MDT)/5:00 pm (PDT).

Don't Waste America is a national campaign focused on preventing decades of massive and dangerous high-level radioactive waste transport across the United States, which would occur if efforts to revive the scientifically-indefensible Yucca Mountain, Nevada waste dump are accomplished, or if a Centralized or Consolidated “Interim” Storage (CIS) site for high-level radioactive waste is created.

With the close of five nuclear reactors since 2013, and nine others scheduled to close by 2020, we celebrate the decreased generation of high-level waste at these reactor sites. When fission stops, public health improves! However, it is vital that the solution chosen to isolate and store the generated waste at these closed and/or closing reactor sites, and the waste that continues to be generated at the 99 other nuclear reactor sites that are still operating, is scientifically and morally sound.

Click here to register for the telebriefing and receive all of the details!

The campaign has four main components:  End Yucca, Stop Nuclear Waste Transport, Consolidated Interim Storage, and Hardened On-Site Storage.

  • Ian Zabarte (Principal Man, Western Bands Shoshone Nation Newe Sogobia) will present End Yucca!
  • Diane D’Arrigo (Director, Radioactive Waste Project of NIRS) will present Stop CIS!
  • Deb Katz (Citizen Awareness Network) will present Implement HOSS!
  • Mary Olson (Director, NIRS Southeast) will moderate and reflect on how waste transport intersects with the above.

This national conversation is appropriate for newcomers and seasoned activists alike! We will reserve plenty of time for your questions and short comments after the presentations.

This telebriefing is free, but registration is required. Your confirmation email will include the dial-in number. 

We will begin promptly at 8:00pm (EDT)/7:00pm (CDT)/6:00 pm (MST)/5:00 pm (PST). We hope you will join in!

If you cannot attend, but would like to receive the link to the recorded telebriefing, please register. We will send a link to the recorded telebriefing to all registered participants. 

Thanks for all you do!


Mary Olson

Director, NIRS Southeast Office


Join us for our national Don't Waste America! telebriefing



Nuke waste bill to House floor soon?


FULL SPEED AHEAD! House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus tells ME he's optimistic comprehensive nuclear waste legislation that would revive the Yucca Mountain site will get a full chamber vote before Congress steps away for August recess. Though longtime Yucca opponent Sen. Dean Heller called the legislation "dead on arrival in the Senate," Shimkus shot back that Energy and Commerce's 49-4 vote in support of the measure was "as good as anyone could have expected" and "probably troubling for those who want to keep the status quo."


Nevada's U.S. senators respond to House Energy Nuke Waste Bill

While there was bi-partisan support in the House Energy Committee for Yucca Mountain (and consolidated storage), the bi-partisan opposition in Nevada continues.

June 28, 2017
Cortez Masto Statement on House Bill to Revive Yucca Mountain

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement on H.R. 3053, a bill that was approved this morning by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and would allow for the revival of Yucca Mountain to move forward:

“Any proposed nuclear repository site or storage facility should require the consent of the host state before it can advance. It is unjust and unfair to force Nevadans to live next to a nuclear waste dump that could harm both their health and livelihood. We also cannot ignore the scientific analysis that has deemed Yucca Mountain unsafe and unfit for nuclear waste storage. This bill ignores the detrimental impacts to Nevada’s communities and economy if Yucca Mountain moves forward. The state of Nevada stands ready to fight any and all proposals that seek to revive Yucca Mountain, and I’m prepared to take on this fight in the Senate.”


June 28, 2017

Heller Statement On Nuclear Waste Policy Act Clearing House Energy Committee

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) released the below statement after the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, legislation proposed by Congressman John Shimkus (IL-15) that amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which names Yucca Mountain as the country’s sole nuclear waste repository.

“This legislation is dead on arrival in the Senate. The only real solution to our nation’s nuclear waste problem is through consent based siting like in my bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act,” said Heller. “We owe it to the American taxpayer to move past the failed policies of Yucca Mountain. I will continue to stand with the State of Nevada and fight this reckless proposal every step of the way in the U.S. Senate.”

In April, Heller appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment during a hearing on the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. In his testimony, Heller encouraged the consideration of his Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act, legislation that permits the construction of a nuclear waste repository only if the Secretary of Energy receives written consent from the governor of the host state, affected local officials, and affected Indian tribes.



Media Statement by Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, on Today’s U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Mark Up Hearing re: U.S. Rep. John Shimkus’s (R-IL) Bill, H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017:

Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist at Beyond Nuclear, issued a statement today. It begins:

“Yesterday, Beyond Nuclear joined a coalition of 50 national, regional, and local grassroots environmental groups, in a letter calling on members of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee to oppose H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017, as dangerously misguided. This letter is part of a decades-long campaign, by over a thousand environmental groups from all 50 states, in opposition to the Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste dump scheme. This environmental coalition remains as vigilant and determined as ever.

“Yucca Mountain has repeatedly failed the test to serve as a high-level radioactive waste burial dump for the past several decades, and still does.

“First and foremost, Yucca Mountain is located on Western Shoshone Indian land, as recognized by the United States government when it signed the ‘peace and friendship’ Treaty of Ruby Valley in 1863. Thus, the Yucca dump scheme is illegal and unconstitutional. Treaties are the highest law of the land, equal in stature to the Constitution itself. It would be like the U.S. trying to force the burial of its radioactive wastes onto Canada or Mexico, against their sovereign will. As with nuclear weapons testing at the adjacent Nevada Test Site, the Western Shoshone have made clear for decades, they do not consent to this dump on their land.

“In fact, the Native Community Action Council (NCAC) has achieved official party status by establishing standing in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing proceeding for the Yucca dump. NCAC’s contentions assert that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) does not hold title to the land or water at Yucca Mountain. This belongs to the Western Shoshone Indian Nation. Read the full press release.

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