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“White House Buries Yucca,”read the headlines on Friday after Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told a Senate hearing that the Nevada repository is “no longer an option” for long-term storage of nuclear waste.
Instead, Chu said, the Obama Administration will cut all but the most rudimentary funding and be content to allow spent fuel rods to sit in storage pools and drycasks while the administration “devises a new strategy toward nuclear wastedisposal.”
Harry Reid was dancing a jig, bragging on his website, “It was very easy working with the Obama Administration to bring about these cuts. The project is dead. This announcement is another indicator that our efforts are paying off.” Anti-nuclear groups were even more gratified, since they have long seen Yucca Mountain as a choke point at which a nuclear renaissance can be strangled in its cradle. Greenpeace immediately called for an end to new construction and for all existing reactors to be closed down.