Saturday, May 9, 2009

Obama admin. to shut Yucca Mountain waste dump

FY2010 Energy Budget Shuts Yucca Mountain Nuclear Dump
Environmental News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2009 (ENS) - The Obama administration has decided to terminate the program to develop the nation's only permanent geologic repository for highly radioactive nuclear waste, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu indicated as much last month in a Senate hearing, and the Department of Energy's budget request released Thursday spells out in detail how the administration is going to approach management of the many thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and Defense Department waste from the nation's weapons production.

The FY 2010 budget request of $197 million for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, a cut of more than $90 million from last year, "implements the administration's decision to terminate the Yucca Mountain program while developing nuclear waste disposal alternatives," the budget document states.

All funding for development of the Yucca Mountain facility would be eliminated, such as further land acquisition, transportation access, and additional engineering for the repository on federal land adjacent to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, about 80 miles northwest of the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

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