Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


Kennewick, Wash.—Ecology Division Chief Mary Sue Wilson today represented Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna before the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Wash., focusing on three subjects:

The legal framework governing the issues before the Commission: “…in 2010, 28 years after Congress first acted to address the nation’s problem of accumulated spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste, there is only one legal process in place for developing a geologic repository—the process provided by [Congress under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA).] The efforts of this Commission must not disregard the very process Congress put in place to move the nation closer to addressing the problem of accumulated spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste, the very process put in place to move away from the policy debate and move forward with a decision-making process based on the technical merits…”

Washington’s interest in the work of the Commission: “Ultimately, the timely success of Washington State’s cleanup activities, aimed at preventing further harm to our environment and preventing additional risks to our citizens, depends on the timely availability of a repository for high-level radioactive waste.”

Requests of the Commission:  “I urge the Commission to recognize the prescriptive scheme established by Congress to address disposition of the nation’s high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel. I urge the Commission to recognize the 30-year process already implemented pursuant to the NWPA. I urge the Commission to consider the Yucca Mountain facility as among the alternatives for a national repository for high-level waste. It is critical to our citizens that the only alternative thus far identified—the one that has been the subject of millions of pages of study and decades of review and the one that has moved forward under the governing law—remains on the table in order to avoid the otherwise certain delay in cleanup of our nation’s nuclear waste.”

McKenna’s remarks delivered by Wilson before the Blue Ribbon Commission (short version)

McKenna’s Written Testimony provided to the Blue Ribbon Commission
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Contacts:  Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725