Mission and Goals

Our Mission

  • To ensure the timely, safe, and cost-effective removal, transport, storage, and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and reactor-related Greater-Than-Class C (GTCC) waste stranded at numerous operating and shutdown commercial reactor sites in our states and communities; and
  • To ensure sustainable access to the entirety of the Nuclear Waste Fund (NWF)—both the substantial payments by electric customers and accrued interest—for its intended purpose under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA). 

Our Goals

Recognizing the urgent need to end the decades-long de facto policy of indefinitely stranding nuclear waste in states and communities without their consent and to reestablish a national integrated nuclear waste management program, the NWSC calls upon the federal government to:


NWF receipts total over $54 billion, including over $21 billion in fees collected from U.S. electric customers per the NWPA and over $28 billion in interest (that continues to accumulate at a rate of over $1.7 billion per year).  Despite the federal government’s commitment per the NWPA and contracts with utilities, electric customers have received nothing in return for these payments and, in fact, continue to pay as taxpayers.  Congress should restructure the funding and spending mechanisms for the NWF to provide the necessary certainty to implement the program over multiple decades. This should include sustainable access to the NWF while maintaining Congressional oversight of the program’s progress. 

In addition, U.S. taxpayers have funded $8.6 billion in damage payments to utilities resulting from lawsuits and settlements concerning the federal government’s delay, and every extra day of inaction costs American taxpayers approximately $2 million!  Swift action by the Department of Energy (DOE) to remove nuclear waste from plant sites would best protect taxpayers from the federal government’s mounting liabilities associated with non-performance.


SNF and GTCC waste from commercial nuclear plants and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) from defense facilities cannot be stored at existing sites indefinitely and may not be candidates for reprocessing; thus, a permanent disposal facility is both necessary and required by law.  Congress designated Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the country’s proposed permanent repository site and should appropriate funds for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and DOE to proceed with the adjudicatory process to determine whether to grant DOE’s license application for the repository.


The federal government must initiate removal of nuclear waste stranded at commercial operating and decommissioned nuclear power plants.  Timely waste removal encompasses implementation of a pilot CIS facility and transportation:

  • Pilot Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) with Priority for SNF from Shutdown Reactors.  While a permanent disposal facility is being licensed and constructed, Congress should simultaneously authorize and fund a pilot CIS facility with priority for SNF and GTCC waste stranded at shutdown sites as a safe, cost-effective means to (i) enable the federal government to begin meeting its obligations sooner; (ii) allow for other use of decommissioned reactor sites; and (iii) safely implement the country’s SNF transportation infrastructure. 
  • Transportation.  Because infrastructure to transport nuclear waste will be necessary regardless of destination, the federal government should (i) test, certify, and procure rail cars and licensed transportation casks and components (using the private sector to the maximum extent practicable); and (ii) increase financial and technical assistance to tribal, state, and local governments for transportation and related emergency preparedness activities.  These preparatory measures will help enhance public confidence that the nation’s extensive and exemplary record of safely transporting radioactive materials will continue.