JACKSON — The Public Service Commission has become the first state agency to go on record to oppose storage of the nation’s nuclear waste in Mississippi, according to Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley.
With a unanimous vote, the Commission passed a resolution calling on the federal government to cease consideration of any area in the state as a potential site for a national repository. The resolution cites Mississippi’s longstanding, official policy objecting to waste storage in the state and demands re-consideration of the originally developed site at Yucca Mountain, Nev.
“I was proud to sponsor these resolutions that clearly say ‘no’ to the plans of the U.S. Department of Energy and others to make Mississippi the nation’s nuclear waste dump. Mississippians have paid $80 million to send nuclear waste to Nevada, and that’s where it should go, period. I am shocked that the Department of Energy recently said that they have continued a dialogue with officials in Mississippi related to this absurd idea,” Presley said.
Yesterday’s action comes after word that Peter Lyons, an assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the U.S. Energy Department, placed Mississippi on a short-list of potential hosts, noting that the interest from some state actors has been very public. Presley says that the majority of Mississippians oppose bringing waste to the state.
The federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 mandated the designation of a permanent repository for the nation’s nuclear waste, funded through fees collected ultimately from ratepayers of utility companies that serve customers with electricity generated from nuclear reactors. Since 1987, Yucca Mountain was the sole site studied and developed, funded by the fees. In 2010, the Department of Energy unilaterally cancelled the site’s development in which, to date, Mississippians have invested over $80 million.