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WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday the proposed Yucca Mountain site in Nevada no longer is an option for storing highly radioactive nuclear waste, brushing aside criticism from several Republican lawmakers.
Instead, Chu said the Obama administration believes the nearly 60,000 tons of waste in the form of used reactor fuel can remain at nuclear power plants while a new, comprehensive plan for waste disposal is developed.
Chu’s remarks touched off a sometimes testy exchange with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Obama’s rival for president last year, and provided the most definitive signal yet that the government’s attempt to address the commercial nuclear waste problem is veering in a dramatically new direction.