It’s premature to celebrate the end of Yucca Mountain – By Judy Treichel (Las Vegas Sun) / Feb 12 2020
In 2010, the Department of Energy announced that the proposed Yucca Mountain repository project was unworkable. Federal authorities filed notice with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to rescind the license application, and Nevadans cheered.
Some of us even held a wake for the seemingly dead project, and celebrated at a major Las Vegas resort. But we were premature.
Now, 10 years later, President Donald Trump has tweeted that he has heard Nevadans and his administration is committed to exploring innovative approaches to nuclear waste disposal. All of the major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are also opposed to Yucca Mountain, and we are receiving congratulatory messages.
But 30 years of battle has taught us not to celebrate too soon.
The United States does not know how to safely, permanently dispose of high-level nuclear waste or irradiated fuel from nuclear power plants. There have been commissions and generic studies, but Yucca Mountain doesn’t die. It always looms as the fallback position.