U.S. to Reduce Funding for Planned Nevada Nuclear Waste Site

The Obama administration is set to eliminate nearly all funding today for a planned nuclear waste repository in Nevada, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Dec. 17, 2008).

"The Yucca Mountain program will be scaled back to those costs necessary to answer inquiries from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission while the administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear-waste disposal," the Energy Department budget document is expected to state in the proposed budget for fiscal 2010.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the move "our most significant victory to date in our battle to protect Nevada from becoming the country's toxic wasteland."

The administration appears set to form a panel that would consider other options for handling more than 70,000 tons of waste from nuclear power plants and other sources. President Barack Obama said before his election that scientific evidence did not indicate that Yucca was ideal for the proposed dump.

Congress this week reduced the project's funding to $288 million for the remaining fiscal 2009 budget cycle.

Washington would not withdraw the license application already submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission due to a possible legal backlash from nuclear companies, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said (Josef Hebert, Associated Press/Yahoo!News, Feb. 26).

February 26, 2009
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The Obama administration is set to eliminate nearly all funding today for a planned nuclear waste repository in Nevada, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Dec. 17, 2008).