I see Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Waste are back on the table in the US. We need clean energy alternatives so this is a positive thing to see. Still I have to ask if we want to move forward with nuclear energy of today, then why not process on the back side when dealing with what we in the US deam as Nuclear Waste? When will we learn to recycle these “waste” products like they do in Europe? The so called waste is 90% reusable and does not need to be buried.
Posted by: "Marcel" email@example.com newpapyrus
Fri Nov 7, 2008 3:02 am (PST)
DOE would expand nuclear dump in Nevada
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer H. Josef Hebert,
Associated Press Writer Thu Nov 6, 11:55 pm ET
WASHINGTON â€" The Energy Department will tell Congress in the coming
weeks it should begin looking for a second permanent site to bury
nuclear waste, or approve a large expansion of the proposed waste
repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
Edward Sproat, head of the department's civilian nuclear waste
program, said Thursday the 77,000-ton limit Congress put on the
capacity of the proposed Yucca waste dump will fall far short of what
will be needed and has to be expanded, or another dump built elsewhere
in the country.
The future of the Yucca Mountain project is anything but certain.
President-elect Obama has said he doesn't believe the desert site 90
miles northwest of Las Vegas is suitable for keeping highly
radioactive used reactor fuel up to a million years and believes other
options should be explored.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has vowed to block the project.
Sproat, addressing a conference on nuclear waste, said the Energy
Department will send a report to Congress in the coming weeks
maintaining that the Yucca site will need to be expanded. He said
within two years the amount of waste produced by the country's 104
nuclear power plants plus defense waste will exceed 77,000 tons. Yucca
Mountain is not projected to be opened before 2020 at the earliest.
"We've done enough testing around the site to know that we can make it
bigger," Sproat told reporters. But he said Congress will have to
remove the capacity limit now in place.
If the limit is not removed, said Sproat, the report will urge
Congress to give the department authority to begin looking for and
evaluating a second nuclear waste repository elsewhere in the country.
The law currently prohibits any such search, said Sproat.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission must issue a license to build the
underground waste dump at Yucca Mountain, a ridge of volcanic rock in
the Nevada desert not far from where the government exploded numerous
nuclear bombs during the Cold War era. The NRC has four years to make
Sproat acknowledged that the next president could withdraw the license
application now before the NRC. But he said that would throw "the
whole process...into a lot of confusion and uncertainty" since
Congress also has prohibited the government from considering any place
other than the Nevada site.
An alternative could be a temporary above-ground repository, possibly
on a federal site.
Sproat said the report, which has been completed, will say either
expand Yucca Mountain, begin the process of finding a second
repository, or "don't do anything and let this whole thing just sit
for another 10 to 20 years and see what happens." He said the
department would prefer the go-ahead for a larger Yucca site.
"We do think there is room for additional storage at Yucca. How much,
we're not clear on," said Sproat.
Allison Macfarlane, a geologist and associate professor for
environmental science and policy at George Mason University who has
studied the Yucca Mountain area, said there are clear limits to Yucca
expansion because of nearby earthquake fault lines and potential
"There are geological constraints on Yucca Mountain. It is not an
endless sink for nuclear waste," said Macfarlane at the conference
sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.