Skip to main content

Rep. John Shimkus on Yucca Mountain: Can You Hear Me Now?

Rep. John Shimkus
You can't find a more passionate supporter of the Yucca Mountain repository on Capitol Hill than Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.). For years, Shimkus has been a champion of electricity rate payers who have been dutifully contributing to the Nuclear Waste Fund only to see the Federal government continually fail to fullfill its obligations under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

Earlier today, the Chicago Tribune published an op-ed by the dogged Rep. Shimkus entitled, "Nuclear waster: The name is Yucca Mountain." Though the full text of the article is behind one of those dreaded paywalls, we've excerpted a few choice passages for your reading pleasure.
After spending $15 billion analyzing it [Yucca Mountain], the Department of Energy in 2008 finally filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission an application for a license to build and operate the project. Numbering nearly 10,000 pages, the application addressed every imaginable question of safety and environmental protection. 

Later that year the tide turned. Then-Sen. Barack Obama promised to do what he could to halt Yucca Mountain. Procedural maneuvers in Congress and at the NRC helped Obama make good on that promise, even though the votes were still there to support the project in the House and the Senate. 

Since then, some stakeholders and policymakers have asked, "Why don't we step back from the Yucca Mountain standoff and start looking for an alternative?" Because we share a sense of urgency to resolve the issue, my colleagues and I who have spent years working on this issue have carefully reviewed these ideas.

However, a close look confirms our belief that building a repository at Yucca Mountain would still be the fastest, best and most viable solution.

{...]

We are all frustrated by the failure to dispose of nuclear waste on the timetable provided in current law. However, assessing the pros and cons of interim storage, it does not seem to offer either economic or safety benefits. It would divert time, effort and resources away from actually solving the waste problem once and for all. Citizens want a sound nuclear policy and a safe solution for spent nuclear fuel disposal. The current law focusing on the Nevada project remains the best solution and, in time, the most likely to succeed.
Rep. Shimkus doesn't only deal with Yucca Mountain in print, he also makes a point of talking about it on the floor of the house with some frequency. Here's one statement from March 20, 2013:


There are others that you can find on the congressman's YouTube channel.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I hear you Rep. Shimkus, but I don't like what I'm hearing (adult text in video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5yNZ1U37sE

Do you really want to promote Yucca Mountain using someone who thinks there was a global flood, a talking snake, and zombies?

Bob Applebaum
SteveK9 said…
I'm a strong supporter of nuclear power, but I'm sorry to have to say that Shimkus is a moron. Generally I think Yucca has just become one of those memes that team GOP thinks is a good way to beat up Obama.

The reason Yucca has been fought is that the people of Nevada don't want it. I'm not much of a fan of Harry Reid either, but he is representing his constituents. Why don't the people there want it? Well, for years Nevada was considered our internal waste land, suitable for setting off atomic explosion in the atmosphere and later underground. When it came time to dispose of spent fuel, Nevada was not asked. Other people decided, 'hey it is already a radioactive dump, let's throw the (fill in the blank) there'. No wonder they are opposed.

At the end of the day, it won't really matter whether we have a repository or not. We will burn all this stuff in deep-burn, or breeder reactors. It's perfectly safe where it is and can sit there, or perhaps a regional site (above ground) until we need it.
Anonymous said…
Why doesn't Shimkus just have God make the waste disappear?

That's his plan for climate change: God will handle it.

I know the Nuke industry needs allies, but to place your hopes on such an anti-science/anti-reason individual is nuts.

"A video of Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) is making its way around the Internet. In the two-and-a-half minute clip (posted below), Shimkus uses scripture to explain his belief that the Earth will end only when, “God declares it is time to be over.” Shimkus then continues to quote the Book of Mark, saying: “Man will not destroy this Earth, and this Earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…