Mar 10, 2009 | 4
The generation-long debate surrounding the dumping of the nation’s radioactive nuclear waste under Nevada’s Yucca Mountain may finally be drawing to a close. As ScientificAmerican.com reported yesterday, the plan to turn the mountain – some 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Las Vegas – into a nuclear repository appears to be dead in the water: President Obama’s proposed 2010 budget removes major funding needed to complete the project – and it faces opposition from powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, who doesn't want the country's spent nuclear fuel dumped in his state.
Mar 9, 2009 | 5
Remember the feds' controversial plan to store all of the country's spent nuclear fuel deep inside Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert some 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas? Well it looks like that proposed resting place for the country's nuclear waste has apparently been, well, laid to rest.
When President Obama unveiled his budget last month, he essentially eliminated funding to prepare the site as the nation's nuke graveyard. The scant funds still to be allotted, according to the Las Vegas Sun, will just be enough to allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)—the body responsible for managing civilian nuke power—to hold planned hearings on licensing the facility’s construction.
Even if the NRC gives the green light to Yucca, the dual opposition of Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–Nev.) likely spell doom for the site. “What happens once we say 'yes' or 'no' is out of our hands,” NRC spokesperson Eliot Brenner told The New York Times. A spokesperson for Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently erased any lingering doubts about the site's future, recently telling Science that her boss has made clear that “Nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain is not an option, period.”
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