Tuesday, March 24, 2009

After Yucca: America's homeless nuclear waste

In Idaho. In Massachusetts. In Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Louisiana, California, New Mexico -- at 120 locations in 39 states a total of 66,000 tons of used but still dangerously radioactive fuel are stored in concrete containers under the open sky.

And now it has nowhere else to go.
In this June 25, 2002 file photo, the view from the summit ridge of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump near Mercury, Nev.,looking west towards California. (The Associated Press file photo)
But President Barack Obama opposes the repository and has slashed funding for it in his budget proposal. "Both the president and I have made clear that Yucca Mountain is not a workable option and that we will begin a thoughtful dialogue on a better solution for our nuclear storage waste needs," Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a Senate budget panel recently.
Concerns about transportation safety, earthquakes, water contamination and its proximity to millions of Nevadans have stalled the repository's completion after two decades and billions of dollars of study and construction.

Some even contend that the Yucca Mountain project is dead.
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