H.R. 347 would amend the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 to extend, through September 30, 2031, the government’s authority to operate the Cheney disposal cell in Mesa County, Colorado. That facility, administered by the Department of Energy (DOE), serves as a repository for mill tailings—radioactive waste generated during the conversion of uranium into fuel for nuclear reactors. Under current law, DOE’s authority to accept additional materials at that site is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2023.
Using information from DOE, CBO estimates that the costs associated with receiving and disposing of additional materials at the Cheney facility average less than $500,000 annually; such spending is subject to appropriation. Because DOE already is authorized to accept materials through fiscal year 2023, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 347 would have no effect on the department’s costs until 2024. The cost of implementing the bill in 2024 would not be significant, CBO estimates.