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Nuclear Waste Debate Simmers on Capital Hill

Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 1997

"mobile Chernobyl." Murkowski disputes that moniker.

"The fact is that there have been 2,500 shipments of used fuel across this country in the last twenty years," Murkowski said in his April 7 statement. Those shipments will continue, according to Murkowski (em "by truck, by train, by barge, by boat."

On April 10 the Senate approved an amendment presented by Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) that would prevent the Savannah River nuclear facility from being considered as a permanent storage site should Yucca Mountain be derailed. The Senate also voted to give the same exemption to the Oak Ridge reservation in Tennessee. Language in S. 104 partly prompted the amendments, which would allow the building of one central, temporary site, or another site chosen by the president.

Also on April 10, in the House of Representatives, Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ed Towns (D-N.Y.), along with 56 other members of both parties, had introduced "The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997," H.R. 1270. The bill is similar to legislation supported by almost 300 representatives in the 104th Congress. t

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