More States to Share Nuke Waste Responsibility

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U.S. Senator Ben Nelson has introduced a bill that would have all member states of nuclear waste compacts share the liability of their low-level nuclear waste dumps.

Nelson's proposal is intended to protect states that host a dump site from carrying liability alone in the face of lawsuits or legal judgments.

The measure comes as speculation swirls about whether Nebraska will consent to have a low-level nuclear waste dump built within its borders.

Nelson introduced the bill Tuesday. Nelson said he signed similar legislation while he was governor. Similar shared-liability legislation also was enacted by three of the four other member states of the Central Interstate Low Level Radioactive Waste Compact. That included Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

However, Kansas did not enact the legislation. As a result, the compact did not adopt the shared liability agreement. Nelson said that potentially leaves Nebraska with the assumed liability if it hosts a dump.