Friday, May 08, 2009

Budget plan would end Yucca Mountain project

Page 68 of the President's fiscal 2010 budget proposal announces the termination of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project: "The Administration proposes to eliminate the Yucca Mountain repository program. The Budget provides $196.8 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to explore alternatives for nuclear waste disposal and to continue participation in the repository license proceeding before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

"Secretary of Energy Chu has announced that he will stand up an expert, Blue Ribbon Commission to evaluate options and make recommendations to the Administration for developing a new plan for the back end of the fuel cycle."

The budget justification says the ultimate solution "must be based on sound science and capable of securing broad support, including support from those who live in areas that might be affected by the solution."

Finding a site that meets geologic requirements and is acceptable to local residents may be an impossible challenge. Given the concerns raised over Yucca Mountain, can we expect any community or state to welcome a nuclear waste site?

Update 5-11-09: a colleague noted my use of the word 'dump' in the initial post as perjorative, so I revised the last sentence above.

1 comment:

  1. high-level nuclear waste dump?

    The following comment came as a personal email to me from a friend in Colorado, but I thought it should be shared. I edited my original post to change the word 'dump.' Good call, Jim!

    Here's his note:

    Use of the term “dump” is perjorative in itself and doesn’t help. Best used by Big Enviro.

    The end of the pursuit of “terminal storage” is a positive move, as the reprocessing of spent fuel is an option that should be reassessed.