FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2009
SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND SECURE KEY SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVAL FOR $65.5 MILLION FOR WEST VALLEY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT CLEAN UP
Senate Energy And Water Appropriations Committee Approve $65.5 Million for Disposal of Waste and Cleanup of Soil and Groundwater
Funding Included at Senators' Request; Money is in Addition to $75 Million Senators Secured as Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Schumer, Gillibrand: Proper Containment and Disposal of Nuclear Waste at West Valley is Essential
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Energy and Water Appropriations Committee has approved $65.5 million to the West Valley Demonstration for waste disposal and site cleanup. The funding was approved as part of the Senate Appropriation process, and has been included in the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The bill was passed out of committee and now will go to the senate floor for full approval, and then to the president for signature. Schumer and Gillibrand worked with their colleagues to ensure funding for the project. The money provided will be in addition to the $75 million in stimulus funds already allocated for the project this year.
“It is critical that we effectively contain and dispose of the nuclear waste at West Valley,” said Schumer. “The significant funding that this bill would provide will allow us to aggressively and effectively pursue a full cleanup in the shortest possible timeline.”
“This federal funding is vital to clean up West Valley,” said Senator Gillibrand. “By cleaning-up of this nuclear waste site that will promote local economic growth and protect the environment. I will continue working with Senator Schumer and our Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share of federal dollars.”
West Valley is the site of the first and, to date, only commercial reprocessing plant in the United States. After beginning operations in 1966 with a theoretical capacity to reprocess 300 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel per year, the facility processed a total of 640 tons of waste in six years before shutting down in 1972.
The West Valley Demonstration Project Act, signed into law on October 1, 1980, required that the Department of Energy be responsible for solidifying the high-level waste, disposing of waste created by the solidification, and decommissioning the facilities used in the process.
Today, to help fund waste cleanup at the West Valley site, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand announced that the West Valley Demonstration Project is in line to receive $65.5 million for cleanup the once the budget is finalized. Senator Schumer has long been involved in the fight to clean up the West Valley site, protecting it from budget cuts and urging the federal government to live up to its clean up responsibilities.