Yucca Mountain all but scrapped
Yucca Mountain all but scrapped Mar 2009
Shani Wallis, Editor
Making good on a campaign promise, President Obama's proposed budget has all but killed Yucca Mountain as a national underground repository for nuclear waste.
Proposed repository at Yucca Mountain

Proposed repository at Yucca Mountain

Earlier this month the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told a Senate hearing, that the plan to store nuclear waste in deep caverns under Yucca Mountain is "no longer an option," and that the administration will cut all but the most minimal funding to the planned repository. Chu said spent fuel rods will continue to be stored in pools and dry casks at reactor sites "while the administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear waste disposal. Today more than 59,000 tonnes of radioactive waste is sitting at 171 facilities around the United States.
The recommendation put to Congress in February 2002 was to store this waste in an underground facility comprising some 90km of 5.5m to 7.5m diameter tunnels in Yucca Mountain. In July 2002, President George W. Bush signed a resolution for progress of the project towards its eventual construction and operation. Since then the project has has face many obstacles not the least of which has been public opposition in Las Vegas and Nevada and of the State's influencial Senator and Senate Leader, Democratic Congressman, Harry Ried.
In July 2004, while upholding selection of Yucca Mountain as the designated respository, a US Court of Appeals ruling sent the project back to the drawing board. The ruling increased the design criteria for public protection from 10,000 years to at least 300,000 years.
In May 2002, TunnelTalk met with management staff of the project at its official visitors’ center in Las Vegas to compile this report about the basic design and proposed operation of the massive underground repository.
Waste management at Yucca Mountain - TunnelTalk, May 2002


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