Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 12-02-09 on Dec 2nd, 2009 :: 1:05:05 to 1:11:00
Total video length: 1 hours 30 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Jim Matheson

1:05:02 to 1:05:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: i hope we can not erect new trade barriers and put our own employers and workers at a competitive disadvantage. i think simply this bill would. with that i reserve the balance of myime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. gordon: madam speaker -- mr. speaker, i as he may consume to my friend

Jim Matheson

1:05:05 to 1:11:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jim Matheson

Jim Matheson

1:05:23 to 1:05:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: and the co-author of this bipartisan bill, mr. matheson. the speaker pro tempore: mr. matheson is recognized. mr. matheson: i thank mr. gordon for yielding. before i begin my comments, i have a copy of a resolution that was passed by the salt lake city county council in support of the rid act. i ask unanimous consent to

Jim Matheson

1:05:44 to 1:06:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: include that in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. matheson: the energy and commerce committee has held two hearings on this issue. one in the previous congress and one in this congress. and during those hearings we really flushed out this issue in a way that i think makes justify moving this bill.

Jim Matheson

1:06:05 to 1:06:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: first of all, what was established is that there is confusion about what u.s. policy is relative to importation of radioactive waste from foreign countries. there really is a gap in policy here because as our low-level ra developed over the last two or three decades, foreign waste wasn't really even cons

Jim Matheson

1:06:28 to 1:06:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: it just wasn't conceived that we would even take waste from other countries. as mr. gordon indicated, no other country in the world takes another country's radioactive waste. i think that appears to have been the assumption in terms of when policies was developed in this country. but what has happened in the last few years is our efforts and contracts being signed to move waste from italy.

Jim Matheson

1:06:50 to 1:07:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: there's discussion about brazil, mexico, great britain to m waste to this country. the nuclear regulatory commission says we have no authority to determine whether or not waste from foreign countries should be allowed in this country. so then we tu to the next regulatory body that we have in this country, and that is the

Jim Matheson

1:07:11 to 1:07:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: system of state-run compacts that was established in federal law primarily in 1980 and again in 19 5. and the nuclear waste compacts are the ones who have this role in deciding how to handle low-level radioactive waste. the state of utah happens to be the member of the northwest compact. when this proposal to move waste from italy was put before

Jim Matheson

1:07:32 to 1:07:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: the compact, the compact with the state of utah opposing the importation of this waste, the compact fwred with the state of utah and moved to disallow this shipment. at that point this matter was taken to the courts. a federal district court has ruled the compacts had no authority to stop this either. that case is currently on appeal. but what this points out and

Jim Matheson

1:07:54 to 1:08:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: the reason i walk through these steps is to illustrate there is a lot of confusion out there and everybody is pointing at a different direction on who is in charge of this issue. seems to me this issue ought to be addressed by congress. it's up from a public policy perspective to discuss whether or not as a policy of this country we should accept another country's radioactive i happen to think we shouldn't.

Jim Matheson

1:08:16 to 1:08:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: no other country in the does. i don't think we should either. there has been mentioned that there is a restraint of trade issue in preventing u.s. companies from competing. i don't know of any other country that takes imported waste. for trade to exist you have goods and services going in both directions, not just in one.

Jim Matheson

1:08:37 to 1:08:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: i don' any way can be described as a restraint of trade. secondly, the capacity of this country for handling low-level waste is an issue because from what i've heard, not many states want a nuclear waste site for this low-level waste. even though you heard descriptions that this low-level waste may be no more

Jim Matheson

1:08:59 to 1:09:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: dangerous than in a smoke detector when you talks about tons and tons of this low-level radioactive waste, not a lot of states are lining up to take it. as we move forward as a country in a climate-constrained world where i believe and i support development of more nuclear power plants, which in addition to high-level fuel rods do

Jim Matheson

1:09:20 to 1:09:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: generate waste, we need to have to dispose of that waste. and when the g.a.o. did analyze the site of utah to discuss the capacity issue, as was pointed out during the congressional hearings before the energy and commerce committee, it was pointed out that the g.a.o. only looked at one year's worth of data for how much waste was put in.

Jim Matheson

1:09:42 to 1:10:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: and they just took that law from that year and projected it out in the future. that the g.a.o. would make such you project a trend because the one year they used was a particularly low year in terms of v and in fact, even with that

Jim Matheson

1:10:06 to 1:10:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: assumption, they projected that it could go on somewhere between 20 and 30 years. that is not necessarily a long amount of time when you tarbg about -- talk about storage of low-level waste in this country. that's not a lot of time when you consider the issue that most states don't want one of these sites in their states. and i submit if you take the longer view of the life cycle

Jim Matheson

1:10:27 to 1:10:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: of a nuclear power plant, that 20 to 30 years is not a long amount of time and that's the storage capacity we have at this site. by the way, the g.a.o. report did not assume any foreign radioactive waste would be going in the site when they made the analysis of what the capacity was. so i think this is a good bill.

Jim Matheson

1:10:48 to 1:11:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Matheson: i think this addresses a gap in policy today. it will create greater certainty for the future of the nuclear industry in this country. i think it aligns the ited states with the rest of the world in how we deal with

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