Nuke advocate attacks Obama

In an essay for the Hill, a newspaper of congressional affairs, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tore into President Obama for bringing the Yucca Mountain project to a halt.

“While many are aware of the administration's legally suspect Obamacare delays and go-it-alone attitude toward immigration, climate and a host of other policies, few realize President Barack Obama has also actively subverted the 30-year-old Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the law governing the development of a safe repository for our nation's nuclear waste, and he wants to stick taxpayers with the bill. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act states that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ‘shall' consider Yucca Mountain as our nation's permanent geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste and that the commission “shall” approve or disapprove the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain application no less than three years after its submission. ‘Shall' is not a suggestion.”

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act, approved in 1982, provided for a competitive scientific suitability study among sites and also provided for two dumps—one in the east and one in the west. Shimkus, a member of the House Energy Committee, neglects to mention that Congress in 1987 called a halt to that scientific process, killed the eastern dump, and eliminated all candidate sites but Nevada.

According to, among industries, electric utility political action committees are the second biggest contributors to Shimkus. He also has his own PAC, the John S Fund, that he uses to help other House members. Electric utilities are the number one contributors to the John S Fund. Among its contributors are PACS of the Nuclear Energy Institute and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Those receiving money from those groups after it has passed through Shimkus's hands include U.S. Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada, who received a $1,000 contribution from the John S Fund.

Shimkus hails from Illinois, which contains seven nuclear power facilities, one of them closed.