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Energy Officials Complain About Lack of Progress at Yucca Mountain

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Energy officials and lawmakers alike complained about the growing amounts of radioactive waste at local storage sites due to the lack of progress on a permanent storage facility at Yucca Mountain

The complaints were heard at a hearing at the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Energy officials urged the development of interim storage sites as Congress continues to hash out the licensing and development of Yucca Mountain.

“For years, Yucca Mountain has been a political lightning rod in ways that have made it exceptionally difficult — at times, impossible — to move forward with that site,” said David Victor, chairman of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel in California.

Those who opposed the plan also suggested Congress develop waste disposal sites in other areas.

President Trump included $120 million in the fiscal 2018 budget to restart the licensing process for Yucca Mountain. The facility was originally designated as the permanent repository for nuclear waste in 1987.

Though a bill proposed in the House would include funding for the Energy Department to license the facility and the NRC to prepare for the process, a Senate bill would look at interim storage sites until a permanent repository is established.

U.S. nuclear reactors generate an estimated 2,000 tons of nuclear waste each year, said Katie Tubb with the Heritage Foundation. 

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