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House passes bill calling for study of shipping liquid uranium across Peace Bridge

The House has passed legislation including an amendment sponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins that requires the Department of Homeland Security to study the risks of shipping highly enriched liquid uranium across the Peace Bridge.

The amendment was included in the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015, which passed by voice vote late Tuesday.

In addition to requiring the study to be done, Higgins’ amendment requires the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis to share any information it develops regarding the risks related to the nuclear shipments.

Higgins introduced the amendment in response to a Department of Energy plan to transport liquid nuclear waste from Ontario’s Chalk River Research reactor over the Peace Bridge, on its way toward the department’s Savannah River nuclear waste site beginning next year.

“The route was approved nearly 20 years ago, and it reflects a pre-9/11 mindset with respect to the threat and consequences of terrorism,” said Higgins, D-Buffalo. “This legislation, as amended, would ensure that the Department of Energy has the information it needs to reconsider the wisdom of transporting dangerous nuclear material through high risk areas like Buffalo.”