U.S. Issues Plan for Shipping Nuclear Waste to Yucca

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The U.S. Energy Department released a plan to ship nuclear waste to a repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada beginning no earlier than 2020.

The report was issued today, the final work day of the Bush administration, in an effort to get comments from state, tribal and local officials, the agency said. The underground Yucca site would hold waste from nuclear power plants nationwide.

Plans for shipping the waste have drawn opposition from Nevada lawmakers, who have raised safety questions and helped delay the billion project from its planned 1998 startup. The Energy Department said the proposal minimizes risk, with railcars en route to Yucca monitored by satellites, escorted by armed guards and preceded by notifications to local law enforcement.

“This plan provides a framework for a safe, secure, and efficient transportation system,” said Ward Sproat, the top official at the Energy Department for radioactive waste management.


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