Ocean County Politics

Inside Ocean County Government


OPINION: Time To Get Fair With Nuclear Waste Host Community Funds

The Oyster Creek plant

TO THE EDITOR: As you know I have been an advocate for providing relief to communities like ours since 2004. I am concerned that our Federal, State and local representatives have done nothing to promote this matter. I have written every Representative that matters. They have all failed to support  serious legislation.

The Oyster Creek plant

I am writing to you about the issue of Civilian Nuclear Waste. As you are aware, Lacey Township is home to the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generation Station. We are also a host community, for nuclear waste. This creates several unique problems and concerns for our community, which have increased since September 11, 2001.

Recently, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Mike Conaway (R-Texas), introduced legislation (H.R. 474) that would allow the Energy Department to use the annual interest ($1.4 Billion) from Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for interim storage and could have the agency begin collecting nuclear waste in these short-term facilities in as little as five years.
Reports published by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management shows that customers who use nuclear power pay for the disposal of spent fuel. Also, the federal government collects a fee of one mil (one-tenth of a cent) per kilowatt hour of nuclear-generated electricity from the utilities. This money goes into the Nuclear Waste Fund, which has raised over 46 Billion Dollars to date.

While some of this money was earmarked for the Yucca Mountain Site, I strongly believe that communities like ours deserve a fair share of these funds. These additional funds could help Lacey Township better equip and prepare our emergency services to deal with the potential risk that we face.

As members of the New Jersey’s delegation, I urge you and your fellow colleagues to support H.R. 474 and introduce legislation that would help local governments deal with the increasing risk associated with being a host community. We as a nation cannot be complacent when it comes to dealing with nuclear waste.

James K. Le Tellier
c. Mayor Peter Curatolo
   Lacey Township Committee
PS Link to story: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/474/text

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