The growing amount of high-level radioactive waste--including from California\u2019s operating and closed nuclear power plants--should be consolidated in more than one national repository. That was one recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America\u2019s Nuclear Future. The two-year, $5 million report was vetted at both the House and Senate Energy committees this week. The House Energy & Commerce Environment & Economy Subcommittee Feb. 1 insisted that the now-derailed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, continues to be the most economical and scientifically sound option for permanently disposing of nuclear waste. The next day, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee was more interested in getting a permanent plan in place to avoid federal liability. Other recommendations from the Blue Ribbon report discussed by politicians included the locally touchy issue of transporting waste across many jurisdictions, getting grassroots acceptance at a potential site before embarking on excavation, and the feasibility of creating a quasi-governmental authority to conduct nuclear waste oversight. For California representatives, transportation is unresolved. They delved into both transportation and on-site storage during hearings. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) noted Californians\u2019 concern over rising levels of on-site dry cask storage for high-level radioactive waste along the earthquake-prone coast. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) wanted to clear the path for sending on-site nuclear waste to final burial--like that at the decommissioned Rancho Seco plant in her Sacramento district. Lee Hamilton, commission co-chair and former Indiana representative, noted the sensitivity of transporting radioactive wastes through local- and state-controlled jurisdictions. He underscored that transportation sensitivities need to be attended to in order to consolidate long-term storage. Hamilton pointed out that the Blue Ribbon commission wants to study the longer term use of dry cask storage, but that it\u2019s important to consolidate waste in more than one national area. Capps also said that while the nation is studying lessons learned from the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to proceed with relicensing efforts for the Diablo Canyon plant. To that, the Blue Ribbon commission had no response. For the most part, the House hearing was a venue for lawmakers to reclaim Yucca Mountain as a viable, permanent, waste dump. The site was declared inoperable as a future repository by the Department of Energy in 2010. The Obama administration and Democrats want to find another, more acceptable site, while Republicans contend a new site is a waste of investment and that Yucca Mountain should be recovered. A frustrated Hamilton responded after several hours of House inquiry on the viability of reopening Yucca Mountain., \u201cIf you insist on Yucca, Yucca, Yucca, we can go for another 40 years without solving the problem.\u201d After the hearing, Hamilton said into a microphone that was still operating apparently without his knowledge that trying to get through to legislators on the issues was like \u201cforcing a rock uphill.\u201d The Senate hearing the next day focused more on national liability in the case of no progress on any final repository. Committee ranking member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) noted that there could be up to a $50 billion liability for the U.S. if no solution is agreed upon. \u201cThe cost is just getting out-of-hand,\u201d Hamilton noted. He urged action after a national period of impasse over the issue. \u201cWe have the ethical obligation to the generation that follows us\u201d to deal with the ever-increasing amount of nuclear waste, he added.