H.R. 2699 would amend certain current-law programs and provisions related to nuclear waste disposal. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), the federal government, through the Department of Energy (DOE), is responsible for permanently disposing of the nation’s nuclear waste in a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Without changing that fundamental requirement, the bill would do the following:
Limit, temporarily, DOE’s authority to collect certain fees charged to utilities with nuclear plants to cover the costs of disposing of the waste they generate,
Reclassify those fees from mandatory offsetting receipts to discretionary offsetting collections,
Authorize DOE to temporarily store nuclear waste at monitored retrievable storage (MRS) facilities, and
Authorize DOE to enter into agreements to provide benefits to state, local, and tribal governments that might host or be affected by facilities related to the waste management program.
The bill also would require various agencies to report to the Congress on nuclear waste programs and would require DOE to establish a grant program to study the epidemiological consequences of uranium mining and milling.