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Courtney applauds blue ribbon commission recommendation to move spent nuclear fuel away from Connecticut Yankee

July 29, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney today applauded a blue ribbon commission report that recommended at least one new site be found to store nuclear waste. The panel, which was appointed by President Obama in 2010 and is headed by Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft, recommended a "consolidated interim storage" site that would allow for the removal of spent fuel from shutdown reactor sites, including the former Connecticut Yankee nuclear power plant. The commission also recommended that those sites be first in line for transfer to the new interim site.

"The commission understandsthe direct and immediate benefits of transferring spent fuel out of our communities and to a new central site," said Congressman Courtney. "A single consolidated storage site will ease significantly the financial burden of security and monitoring expenses that rate-payers shoulder to store fuel. Eastern Connecticut has already waited too long for a safe disposition of material from power generation that benefitted not only the whole state but all of New England. It is time for the country to implement a real plan that will change the unacceptable status quo.

"We need to end our nation's addiction to foreign oil, but the American people need reassurances that measures are in place to provide safe alternatives. A responsible approach to storing expended nuclear material will allow us to begin a serious conversation about the future use of nuclear energy."

"Connecticut Yankee is very pleased to see that the blue ribbon commission included this recommendation in their report," said Bob Capstick, Director of Government and Public Affairs at Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company. "We are very appreciative of Congressman Courtney's longstanding efforts in support of the expedited removal of the spent fuel from the Connecticut Yankee site."

Congressman Courtney has pushed the Obama Administration to move forward with the licensing process for a nuclear storage facility in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. In letters to the president, he has cited the great costs being incurred by facility owners and municipalities while they wait for a new storage site to be licensed.