Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (02/10/2000)

Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2000 - Title I: Storage and Disposal - Sets forth a milestone schedule by which final decisions regarding development of the Yucca Mountain site as a nuclear waste repository shall be made by: (1) the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary); (2) the President; and (3) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Prescribes implementation guidelines.

(Sec. 102) Cites circumstances under which the Secretary shall take title and transport for storage at the repository site such spent nuclear fuel amounts as the NRC determines cannot be stored onsite.

(Sec. 103) Prohibits the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (the Administrator) from publishing or adopting public health and safety standards governing releases from Yucca Mountain site radioactive materials: (1) except in accordance with this Act; and (2) before June 1, 2001. Sets a deadline for specified reports to Congress by the Administrator, the NRC, and the National Academy of Sciences regarding Yucca Mountain environmental protection standards.

Amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to repeal the 70,000 metric ton restriction placed upon a first repository if a second repository is not in operation.

(Sec. 105) Authorizes the Secretary to enter into settlement agreements and grant specified relief to contract holders to: (1) relieve harm caused by failure to meet Department of Energy (DOE) commitments; or (2) settle legal claims arising out of such failure.

Delimits expenditures which may be made from the Nuclear Waste Fund for costs incurred pursuant to a settlement agreement or backup storage contract.

Authorizes the Secretary to take title, according to specified guidelines, to certain spent nuclear fuel withdrawn from the Dairyland Power Cooperative La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor.

(Sec. 106) Prescribes implementation guidelines for an acceptance schedule. Instructs the Secretary, in conjunction with contract holders, to define a specified multi-year period for each shipping campaign and to establish criteria for the Secretary to accept contract holders' cumulative allocations of spent nuclear fuel during the campaign period.

(Sec. 107) Conveys specified lands, including attendant easements for utilities, to Nye County, and Lincoln County, Nevada, or to the City of Caliente, Nevada.

Title II: Transportation - Amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to designate the NRC and the Secretary of Transportation as the licensing and regulatory authorities for transportation of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste to either a civilian nuclear power reactor, or to any DOE Facility. Vests the Secretary with responsibility to cause to be used preferred shipping routes from each shipping origin to the repository in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Transportation.

(Sec. 201) Designates as a preferred route: (1) an Interstate System highway for which an alternative route is not designated by a State routing agency; or (2) a route designated by a State routing agency.

Revamps transportation guidelines to include: (1) shipping routes conditioned upon emergency response training, and the availability of attendant funds for at least three years before shipment on primary and alternative shipping routes; (2) specified grants for transportation plan development and implementation for affected State and tribal lands; (3) requirements for minimizing duplication of effort among affected Federal regulatory agencies; (4) a public information program in cooperation with corridor States and Indian tribes regarding spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste transportation; (5) a mandate to use private sector hazardous waste transportation carriers; and (6) specified employee protection requirements for persons engaged in the interstate commerce.

Authorizes the Secretary to make expenditures from the Nuclear Waste Fund to implement the guidelines.

Instructs the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate training standard regulations applicable to workers directly involved in the removal and transportation of radioactive waste. Prescribes training standards contents, including emergency responder training standards. Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Development of National Spent Nuclear Fuel Strategy - Establishes an Office of Spent Nuclear Fuel Research, within the Office of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology of the Department of Energy, and headed by an Associate Director, to implement an integrated research, development, and demonstration program on technologies for the treatment, recycling, and disposal of radioactive waste.

Title IV: General and Miscellaneous - Authorizes the Secretary to establish a Decommissioning Pilot Program to decommission and decontaminate the sodium-cooled fast breeder experimental test-site reactor located in northwest Arkansas. Denies Nuclear Waste Funds for such Program.

(Sec. 402) Instructs the Secretary to report on all alternatives available to the Northern States Power Company and the Federal Government which would allow such Power Company to operate the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant until the end of the term of its current NRC licenses.

Directs the General Accounting Office to report to certain congressional committees on the potential economic impacts to Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Michigan ratepayers should Plant operations cease once its State-imposed storage limitation has been met, including costs of new generation, decommissioning, and continued operation of onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel storage.

(Sec. 404) Declares that any spent nuclear fuel associated with the Fast Flux Test Facility at the Hanford Reservation shall be transported and stored at the repository site as soon as practicable after NRC construction authorization.