Will Yucca licensing still continue if dump dies?

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WASHINGTON — The paper of record weighs in today on the Yucca Mountain debate, insisting the licensing process must go forward even if the dump is to be killed.

In an editorial in today’s editions, the New York Times worries that President Barack Obama’s proposed steep budget cuts to the nuclear waste repository project may leave the Energy Department unable to fully defend its application before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license the facility.

Even with Obama’s stated intention to terminate the Yucca Mountain endeavor and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying the dump is dead, the paper reasons licensing should continue — and Congress should make sure adequate funding is there to do so.



Follow the Science on Yucca

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The administration’s budget for the Energy Department raises a disturbing question. Is President Obama, who has pledged to restore science to its rightful place in decision making, now prepared to curtail the scientific analyses needed to determine whether a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada would be safe to build?


Times Topics: Yucca Mountain

It is no secret that the president and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, who hails from Nevada, want to close down the Yucca Mountain project, which excites intense opposition in the state. The administration has proposed a budget for fiscal year 2010 that would eliminate all money for further development of the site, and Mr. Reid has pronounced the project dead.

But the administration at least claimed that it would supply enough money for the Energy Department to complete the process of seeking a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if only to gain useful knowledge about nuclear waste disposal. Unfortunately, the budget released this month looks as if it will fall well short of the amount needed.

Dead or alive? Yucca Mountain still gets funding

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — These days, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid prefers nothing so much as a one-word description for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository long planned for his state: dead.

And President Barack Obama has made clear he is looking elsewhere to solve the nation’s nuclear waste problem.

But that doesn’t mean people aren’t still paying for it. Sometimes not even a president with the Senate majority leader at his back can easily kill a project 25 years and $13.5 billion in the making. Not quickly or cheaply, anyway.


NRC Agrees to Hear Yucca Challenges

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In another blow to the Yucca Mountain project, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission today decided to allow 299 of the 318 challenges to the repository license to be heard. The Department of Energy submitted its license application for Yucca Mountain last year, but since President Obama took office, the federal government has changed its stance on the project. Already this year, the Obama Administration has slashed funding for Yucca Mountain and commissioned a blue-ribbon panel to explore alternatives to the repository


NRC panels admit 8 parties in Yucca Mountain case

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says eight petitioners and 299 challenges will be heard during upcoming hearings on the Energy Department’s application to open and operate a national nuclear waste dump in Nevada.

The NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards issued an order Monday designating Nevada and California, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Nevada’s Clark, Nye and White Pine counties individually, California’s Inyo County, and Churchill, Esmeralda, Lander and Mineral counties as a group as parties in the hearings.

Eureka and Lincoln counties in Nevada were named interested governmental participants


Yucca Mountain ‘terminated’

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t has already been dumped, but the the long-running Yucca Mountain waste disposal plan has now been officially ‘terminated’ in the US Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) 2010 budget request.

Although energy secretary Steven Chu requested $197 million for the USA’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, the money is only enough to keep the office ticking over and liaise with regulators who are examining the license application for the project.

The DoE said that under its budget proposal: “All funding for the development of the Yucca Mountain facility would be eliminated, such as further land acquisition, transportation access, and additional engineering.


Yucca on death row, nearing if not already ascending the scaffold

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WASHINGTON — The proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is going more rapidly nowhere at all, as Sen. Harry Reid is seeing to it that it receives the smallest budget in its decades-long history.

The Obama administration’s budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year released yesterday “follow through on its commitment to end the failed Yucca Mountain proposal and instead pursue other alternatives for storage of the nation’s nuclear waste,” according to a release from Reid’s office.

The proposed budget figure of $197 million marks a reduction of more than $90 million from last year’s.