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   2014 News Archive

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January 17, 2014 — No money allocated in spending bill for Yucca Mountain — CARSON CITY — This year’s federal spending bill includes no money for licensing a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, “maintaining the project’s status as terminated,” U.S. Sen. Harry Reid said — Las Vegas Sun

January 15, 2014 — Federal government's empty nuclear promises cost taxpayers $38 billion — Uncle Sam has wasted $38 billion —and probably more — on storing the nuclear waste generated by the country's 100 or so nuclear plants — Naturalnews.com

January 08, 2014 — United States: Disposal Site For Spent Nuclear Fuel Could Change The Insurance Picture For Nuclear Plant Owners . . . A federal court of appeals and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently made advances toward a national disposal site for spent nuclear fuel — www.mondaq.com

January 06, 2014 — Nuclear Fuel Storage Remains Safe, Panel Members Say — WASHINGTON — Most members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicated on Monday that they considered it safe to continue storing most spent nuclear fuel in pools, even though concerns remain about potential accidents and terrorist attacks — NyTimes.com


February

February 22, 2014 — Yucca Mountain status? Hearing delves into dumpsite issues, takes pulse of Nevadans — Major progress is expected in the coming year toward resolving the outstanding questions and legal challenges surrounding Yucca Mountain's potential as a repository for the country's high-level nuclear waste, members of the state Legislature were told during an interim committee hearing Friday — Las Vegas Sun [More Coverage - Pahrump Valley Times]

February 12, 2014 — Nuclear dump officials confirm leak of waste in New Mexico — LBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal officials Thursday confirmed a leak of nuclear waste at a southeastern New Mexico repository, but it could be weeks before workers can safely access the underground dump to determine what happened — RJ.com

February 12, 2014 — Nuclear Waste Storage on Texas Lawmakers' Agenda — Could Texas’ wide-open spaces help solve the country's nuclear waste storage problem? House Speaker Joe Straus wants to find out. He has instructed lawmakers to study the economic potential of storing highly radioactive nuclear waste in Texas, a notion that has drawn pushback from environmentalists — TexasTribune.org [Archive Edition]

February 09, 2014 — Nuclear Waste Solution Seen in Desert Salt Beds — Half a mile beneath the desert surface, in thick salt beds left behind by seas that dried up hundreds of millions of years ago, the Department of Energy is carving out rooms as long as football fields and cramming them floor to ceiling with barrels and boxes of nuclear waste — NY Times.com


March

March 27, 2014 — Team to re-enter New Mexico nuclear waste site after radiation leak —An investigative team plans to re-enter an underground nuclear waste site in New Mexico next week for the first time since an accidental release of unsafe levels of radiation there last month, a U.S. Energy Department official said Thursday — (Reuters)

March 23, 2014 — The WIPP problem, and what it means for defense nuclear waste disposal . . . On February 4, 2014, assumptions of very low probability crumbled at the Energy Department’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, when a fire in a large salt truck raged for hours, deep underground. Ten days later, an even more unlikely accident happened: Wastes containing plutonium blew through the WIPP ventilation system, traveling 2,150 feet to the surface, contaminating at least 17 workers, and spreading small amounts of radioactive material into the environment — The Bulletin.org

March 20, 2014 — WIPP still considered for high-level waste — Despite last month's radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, researchers continue to look at the possibility of using WIPP or a facility like it to dispose of high level nuclear waste, a panel of waste experts was told Wednesday at a meeting in Albuquerque. But the leak has been a major setback to the idea — abqjournal.com

March 19, 2014 — NEI and NARUC comment on court rejection of nuclear-waste fee appeal . . . This decision is a big win for consumers of nuclear power. Once again, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has sent another strong signal to the federal government: Stop charging consumers of nuclear power for the stalled Yucca Mountain, Nev., nuclear-waste repository program. — utilityproducts.com

March 13, 2014 — Court Awards Duke Energy, Energy Northwest Spent Fuel Storage Costs — A federal court this week awarded $123 million to Duke Energy and Energy Northwest to cover the cost of storing several years worth of spent fuel after the Department of Energy promised to begin moving it to the mothballed Yucca Mountain repository in 1998 — nuclearstreet.com

March 09, 2014 — Elko County will hear pro-Yucca Mountain backers — Elko County has joined a half dozen other rural Nevada counties that are not ready to close the door on jump-starting proposals to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain 90 miles north of Las Vegas.Elko County will hear pro-Yucca Mountain backers — RGJ.com

March 05, 2014 —$0 for Yucca Mountain included in Obama’s budget proposal — WASHINGTON -- In his budget proposal, Obama reiterates a stand on Yucca Mountain that comes as reassurance to anti-dumpsite Nevadans, especially after a year in which the federal courts sided with those who want to keep the development going — Las Vegas Sun

March 01, 2014 — Nuclear dump leak raises questions about cleanup — CARLSBAD, N.M. — For 15 years the trucks have barreled past southeastern New Mexico's potash mines and seemingly endless fields of oil rigs, hauling decades worth of plutonium-contaminated waste to what is supposed to be a safe and final resting place a half mile underground in the salt beds of the Permian Basin — AP


April

April 29, 2014 — Nuclear settlement costs investors $96M . . . Crippled by the rapid degradation of newly installed steam generators, San Onofre stopped producing power on Jan. 31, 2012. Edison chose to retire San Onofre for good in June of last year, leaving state regulators to decide who should pay for an assortment of leftover costs —utility customers or corporate stockholders — utsandiego.com

April 24, 2014 — Radioactive Leak At U.S. Waste Dump Was Preventable, Report Says — A February accident at a nuclear waste dump that resulted in the contamination of 21 workers resulted in part from "poor management, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper training and oversight," a Department of Energy report concludes. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel says the report, released Thursday, says the release of radioactive material into the environment from the Feb. 14 accident at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., could have been prevented. The facility is a repository for defense-related nuclear waste — NPR

April 24, 2014 — DOE releases scathing report on WIPP leak — krqe.com

April 15, 2014 —WIPP officials close to knowing cause of radiation leak — koat.com [Related Story]

April 2014 —Restructuring the U.S. Nuclear Waste Management Program: An Environmental Opportunity for Change? —Alvin Mushkatel Ph.D., Arizona State University; Robert J. Halstead, State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects; and Kathy Thomas, Ph.D., Arizona State University

April 15, 2014 — WIPP leak investigation: slow going for a reason — Abqjournal.com

April 14, 2014 —Nevada Is Not a Wasteland: What Doesn’t Happen Here Shouldn’t Stay HereCommentary by By Rep. Dina Titus: In 2010, when the Department of Energy correctly made the decision to put an end to the misguided Yucca Mountain project, it did so after decades of debate and extensive study with little to show for it except $15 billion wasted and a big hole in the side of a mountain. According to the Government Accountability Office, had the project been completed, it would have cost more than $80 billion just for initial construction — Roolcall.com

April 11, 2014 — West Valley Nuclear Waste Facility Still Years Away From Full Decommissioning — The U.S. is the world’s largest nuclear power producer, and more than a quarter of New York’s electricity is supplied by atomic energy. As older nuclear plants in the state, and across the US, reach the end of their operational life, managing the nuclear waste left behind has become an ongoing national issue — wxxinews.org

April 10, 2014 DOE to Update Yucca Groundwater Report in Lieu of Environmental Supplement — As the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission begins responding to the August 2013 federal court order to restart its review of the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain repository license application, DOE said this week it will not provide a supplemental environmental analysis as the NRC had requested but instead will update a report on groundwater at the site it had sent to the agency four years ago — NEI.org

April 07, 2014 — Richard Bryan: Yucca Mountain must not be used for nuclear waste processing . . . The respected 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology nuclear fuel cycle study concluded that commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is unlikely to occur anywhere in the United States, at least for the next two decades, because of unfavorable economics. Reactor fuel from reprocessing could cost up to eight times more than new fuel using freshly mined uranium — RGJ.com

April 06, 2014 — Two top GOP congressional candidates favor Yucca Mountain if done safey — For nearly three decades, most Nevada leaders — Republican and Democrat —have opposed allowing the federal government to carry out a plan to build a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles from Las Vegas — RJ.com

April 02, 2014 — Workers enter WIPP; no radiation detected in airCARLSBAD — Crews made their first trip into the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico on Wednesday to begin investigating a radiation release in February that contaminated 21 workers, the U.S. Department of Energy said — AP


May

May 21, 2014 — Editorial: Storage plan for N-waste is one big boondoggle — The U.S. Department of Energy last week finally conceded the obvious: The United States has no plan for the permanent storage of spent fuel from the nationís 100 civilian nuclear generating plants — Spokesman.com

May 20, 2014 — State wants WIPP plan from DOE — The New Mexico Environment Department on Monday ordered the federal government to submit a plan for securing nuclear waste that may have caused a radiation leak at an underground repository — Abqjournal.com [Related Story]

May 20, 2014 — Potential imminent threat from New Mexico nuclear waste, officials say —ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico - Los Alamos National Laboratory packed 57 barrels of nuclear waste with a type of kitty litter believed to have caused a radiation leak at the federal government's troubled nuclear waste dump, posing a potentially "imminent" and "substantial" threat to public health and the environment, New Mexico officials said Monday — cbsnews.com More Coverage — The Telegraph

May 15, 2014 — Fee to build phantom nuke waste site ends — NEW YORK (AP) — Something could be missing from your next electric bill: a fee that electric customers have been paying for 31 years to fund a federal nuclear waste site that doesn't exist. The Energy Department will stop charging the fee by court order on Friday. The amount is only a small percentage of most customers' bills, but it adds up to $750 million a year. The fund now holds $37 billion — AP

May 13, 2014 — Kitty litter eyed as possible culprit in New Mexico radiation leak — Kitty litter used to absorb liquid in radioactive debris may have triggered a chemical reaction that caused a radiation leak at a below-ground U.S. nuclear waste storage site in New Mexico, a state environmental official said on Tuesday — Reuters

May 07, 2014 — House Republicans: Why aren't regulators asking for money to study Yucca Mountain? — The way congressional Republicans see it, the independent agency charged with studying Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site is trying to run out the clock on the project — Las Vegas Sun [More Coverage — RJ.com]

May 06, 2014 —U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Monthly Status Report Activities Related to the Yucca Mountain Licensing Action Report for March 2014 — The NRC

May 01, 2014 — Titus answers — Shimkus of Illinois — whose state contains a half-dozen nuclear power plants —argued in an essay in a Capitol Hill newspaper that by shutting down the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump project for power plant wastes in Nevada, President Obama is violating federal law that instructs the dump 'shall' be built (“Nuke advocate attacks Obama,”RN&R, April 17). Nevada's U.S. Rep. Dina Titus came back in a subsequent edition of the Hill, charging . . . — newsreview.com

May 01, 2014 — WIPP: Damage discovered on bags used to weigh down nuclear waste containers — lcsun-news.com


June

June 11, 2014 — Yucca Mountain backers mount push to revive nuke program — WASHINGTON — Late spring means short sleeves, schoolchildren preparing for summer vacation, and the annual push by Yucca Mountain supporters in Congress to revive the dormant nuclear waste project. This year is no exception. House lawmakers this week launched an energy spending bill containing $205 million for the Nevada program that President Barack Obama ended four years ago — Las Vegas Review Journal

June 11, 2014 — Yucca Mountain Termination Generates On-Site Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Plants — enr.construction.com


July

July 27, 2014 —[Editorial] Guy W. Farmer: Obama's budget: No money for Yucca Mountin — Nevada Appeal

July 25, 2014 — Nuclear Waste Bill Not Dead, Just Sleeping — rollcall.com

July 21, 2014 — Reid Calls NRC’s Magdood ’Disaster’ Amid Demand for Probe — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called departing Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Bill Magwood“a disaster“ as environmental groups said he should resign now to avoid a conflict of interest with his next job . . .[ A coalition of 34 environmental groups sent letters today to President Barack Obama and the NRC seeking an investigation into whether Magwood violated ethics rules by accepting a job promoting nuclear power — bloomberg.com

July 14, 2014 — How nuclear-powered nations are tackling highly radioactive waste storage headache — Tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel stored at nuclear power plants will remain dangerously radioactive for thousands of years — a vexing problem that nuclear-powered nations around the world face. After decades of studies, scientists now agree that underground storage is the best option, but finding a community willing to host a radioactive dump site is difficult. Here is how some countries have tackled the issue — Foxnews.com

July 10, 2014 House rejects bids to abandon nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain The House on Thursday defeated two proposals to prevent development of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada — The Hill More Coverage — RJ.com [More Coverage]

July 09, 2014 — Nevada Ready To Spend Money To Stop Yucca Mountain Nevada officials approved more money to continue the fight against Yucca Mountain. Tuesday the state's Board of Examiners, which included Governor Brian Sandoval and Secretary of State Ross Miller, approved a request for one-point-four million dollars to go to Nuclear Projects — knprnews.org More Coverage, July 08, 2014


August

August 29, 2014 — Confidence — What Does It Mean For Nuclear Waste? — Can we be confident that we can handle our nuclear waste in America? On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said — yes. The NRC made a small but incredibly important decision about nuclear waste that could finally get nuclear energy moving forward again. In response to a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the NRC approved a generic environmental impact statement that clears the way for storing spent nuclear fuel for a hundred years or more (NRC Ruling). New nuclear power plants can now be built without waiting for a final nuclear waste repository to be built — Forbes.com [Print ]

August 29, 2014 — NRC Final Rule: Nothing More Than a Patch for a Broken System — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to finalize its 'continued storage' rule, establishing a general recognition that onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel is safe for the short, long, and indefinite terms. In the short term, the NRC's decision recognizes that spent fuel at reactors can be safely stored on site until a geologic repository is available. This allows the nuclear industry to move forward with licensing activities . . . — DailySignal.com

August 28, 2014 — DOE agrees to pay $23.6M to Energy Northwest — The Department of Energy has agreed to pay Energy Northwest almost $23.6 million in damages for its continued failure to accept used nuclear fuel. It also has agreed to an annual claims process to continue to pay costs through 2016 without requiring Energy Northwest to prove damages in federal court — TheOlympian.com

August 27, 2014 — Nevada legislators OK $1.4 million to fight Yucca — CARSON CITY — A panel of lawmakers on Wednesday approved nearly $1.4 million to continue Nevada's fight against Yucca Mountain despite the nuclear waste repository project being described by some critics as “the walking dead.” The requests for funding for the Nevada attorney general's office and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects were supported by the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee — RJ.com [More Coverage — AP]

August 22, 2014 — State OKs controversial expansion of West Texas nuclear dump's operations — AUSTIN — Call it the Texas radioactive waste rush. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved changes this week to its license with Waste Control Specialists —a private disposal facility in Andrews County in West Texas that handles low-level radioactive waste — that would greatly expand the site's operations — DallasNews.com

August 21, 2014 — Secretary Moniz addresses future of energy, waste disposal IdahoStatesnab.com

August 13, 2014 — Why small towns want nuclear waste dumps — A nuclear-waste disposal site in New Mexico closed in February after a radiation leak forced an evacuation. Yet residents near the site want it reopened — WashingtonPost.com

August 12, 2014 — U.S. says reopening New Mexico nuclear waste dump is top priority — An underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico where operations were suspended after a radiation leak is of crucial importance to the United States and its reopening is a top priority for the Energy Department, the head of the agency said — reuters.com

August 01, 2014 — Report: Nuclear Share of Global Energy Production Is Lowest Since 1984 — According to a report released this week by Mycle Schneider Consulting —a Paris-based independent consultant—nuclear power’s share of global commercial primary energy production declined to only 4.4%, a level not seen since 1984 — Powermag.com


September

September 16, 2014 — U.S. Senate confirms 2 new NRC commissioners — WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed two new members to the federal body that regulates the nuclear power industry and has played a role in reviewing Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a repository for nuclear waste — RJ.com

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
September 15, 2014 Reid Moves NRC Nominations as Fight Over Yucca Mountain Continues It helps to be the majority leader when you’re trying to kill the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is using floor time this week to confirm nominees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — a move that will ensure a Democratic majority . . . The two nominees, Jeffery M. Baran and Stephen G. Burns, would fill vacant spots on the commission. Reid has spent considerable political capital to effectively kill the project, and repeatedly used his influence to ensure the NRC’s opposition to it — RollCall.com [More Coverage — AP]

September 12, 2014 — YUCCA MOUNTAIN: 'Nothing for us to do' on repository project — NRC chief — There's a critical hole in the application for the now-abandoned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project in Nevada. There's no applicant. So says Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane. She told reporters yesterday that the NRC is obeying court orders to use its remaining application funds, about $7.5 million, to continue its review of the project. That could lead to the release of critical safety studies as early as January — eenews.net

September 12, 2014 — The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) Environmental Report for 2013 has been released and is available on-line. This document is a collection of results from environmental activities, such as air and groundwater monitoring and ecological surveys, performed at the NNSS and off-site facilities from January through December 2013. — DOE/Nevada

September 07, 2014 — New Mexico nuclear waste site may be hobbled for years — It may be years before an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico shuttered by a radiation leak is fully operational, and costs for decontamination and other activities to restore the facility are not yet clear, Energy Department officials said — WashingtonPost.com

September 05, 2014 — Ruling green lights temporary nuclear waste storage With no central underground depository, above-ground casks will have to do. For decades, the U.S. nuclear energy industry has struggled to answer the biggest question posed by regulators and anti-nuke activists: How much confidence can we have in its ability to safely store radioactive waste long-term? — HCN.org
Related Information NRC Documents Related to Waste Confidence

September 01, 2014 — Feds want nuclear waste train — ATLANTA — The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go. Putting the cart before the horse, the U.S. Department of Energy recently asked companies for ideas on how the government should get the rail cars needed to haul 150–ton casks filled with used, radioactive nuclear fuel — AP


October

October 28, 2014 — States challenge NRC waste rule — Three US states have launched a legal challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) recently approved final rule on storage of used nuclear fuel after reactors have closed. The petition filed on behalf of the states of New York, Vermont and Connecticut alleges that the rule violates federal environmental legislation — World-Nulcera-News.org

October 28, 2014 — Lawyers the winners in long Yucca court fight — WASHINGTON – A nuclear waste repository might or might never be built at Yucca Mountain but one group profited from a long legal fight over the Nevada site – the lawyers. A handful of attorneys representing plaintiffs in a case that wound through a federal appeals court over two years billed more than $350,000 in fees and expenses, according to court documents — RJ.com

October 26, 2014 — The Other Senate Nuclear Option[OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR] Much is at stake as Americans vote on Nov. 4. While different races have different issues, the nuclear-energy world is watching to see which party will control the Senate. If Majority Leader Harry Reid becomes minority leader, he would likely no longer be able to sustain opposition to Yucca Mountain, the Energy Department’s chosen nuclear repository — Mr. McCullough is a former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority and was mayor of Tupelo, Miss. He is now a consultant to energy corporations.

October 23, 2014 — Regulators release report on viability of nuclear waste storage at YuccaBut it doesn't mean the Nevada site is safe — or even back on the docket. — Reid Blasts Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Approval Of Yucca Nuclear Waste Site,” blared a headline last week at Law360, a news site devoted to the legal profession, referring to Nevada's senior Senator, Harry. “NRC Deems Nuclear Waste Storage at Yucca Mountain Safe,” announced Power, an electrical industry trade magazine. Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and John Shimkus, R-Ill., chair of the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, issued a joint statement calling some recent news out of the federal agency that regulates nuclear power “game-changing.”

October 16, 2014 — NRC staff: Yucca Mountain could meet safety needs — WASHINGTON — A long-awaited report issued Thursday by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found the Yucca Mountain site — once considered by the government but halted by the Obama administration — could be safe to store nuclear waste. The federal agency released a staff analysis of a plan that the Department of Energy submitted for a license in 2008 but later disavowed. The 781–page document concluded that the site 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas “with reasonable expectation”could satisfy licensing rules — RJ.com

October 16, 2014 — Calls to Use Yucca Mountain as a Nuclear Waste Site, Now Deemed Safe — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday released a long-delayed report on the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a disposal spot for nuclear waste, finding that the design met the commission’s requirements, laying the groundwork to restart the project if control of the Senate changes hands in the elections next month — NY Times.com

October 01, 2014 — Nuclear waste dump may reopen in 2016, two years after accidents — The Energy Department says it hopes to resume operations at its shuttered nuclear waste dump in New Mexico by early 2016, roughly two years after two serious accidents released radioactive materials and soot throughout the 2,150-foot-deep repository. The cost of accidents will approach $1 billion, based on estimates that are contained in the agency’s 32-page plan, released Tuesday — LA Times


November

Robert Halstead - photo RJ.com November 23, 2014 — Reid, Heller ready to battle Yucca Mountain — With a change in U.S. Senate leadership after the midterm election, Nevada Nuclear Projects Agency chief Robert Halstead says he has been assured by the staffs of Nevada’s senators that both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, remain strongly opposed to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project and are “well-positioned and working together to protect Nevada's interests.” — RJ.com

November 22, 2014 — [Opinon] View: No Yucca Mountain, and more Indian Point concerns — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending mixed signals about nuclear waste from power plants. It recently issued new rules encouraging continued long-term storage of waste on site at the plants and denied environmentalists' contention that waste buildup at Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan was a problem. On the other hand, NRC recently resumed safety evaluations of a proposed national nuclear waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain — Lohud.com
[Related Information]

November 20, 2014 — Murray and Cantwell on Yucca Mountain — With Republicans taking control of the next Congress and Yucca Mountain opponent Harry Reid, D-Nev., losing his perch from which he has fought the project, attention is on the views of other influential members who will be in the new minority. Washington Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have long pushed for a solution to their state's military nuclear waste and see Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository as an option. “It is imperative that the Yucca Mountain Licensing application is thoroughly considered by the NRC,”Murray urged Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane Tuesday in a letter, E&E Publishing reported. . .Bolstering her [Cantwell's] position, an Energy Department report recently recommended a separate repository for certain military wastes — RollCall.com[Related Information]

Robert Halstead, NWPO November 18, 2014 — Nevada report alleges bias in Yucca Mountain evaluation — A report from a state agency to Nevada's incoming Legislature and Gov. Brian Sandoval charges bias by federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff members and urges elected lawmakers to continue to back the 25-year fight against plans to entomb the nation's radioactive waste 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas — AP [More Coverage — RJ.com]

November 18, 2014 — Letter From Patty Murray (Senator State of Washington) to Allison Macfarlane, NRC Chairman.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) November 17, 2014 — NRC Head Calls for Disposal, Closure Rules . . . Macfarlane, who has announced she will leave her post at the end of the year, echoed a finding of the Blue Ribbon Commission on which she served, saying that the amount of current and projected nuclear waste would require more than one permanent storage facility. She said that because the commission’s current citing standard for a deep geologic repository is specific to Yucca Mountain, the commission should issue general rules to cover other options — RollCall.com

November 17, 2014 — Review breathes life into Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste site — A review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the long-term safety of the Yucca Mountain repository for nuclear waste in Nevada has improved the chances that it may go ahead, despite the project being mothballed by the Obama administration back in 2010 — PhysicsWorld.com

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call November 14, 2014 — A Lame-Duck Fight Over Yucca Mountain — Harry Reid’s longtime opposition to the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository appears set to have one of the last quacks in the lame duck, and Republicans are crying foul. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, slammed President’s Obama’s nomination of Jeffery M. Baran to a full five-year term on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and pointed to the Democratic leader’s longtime efforts on Yucca — Rollcall.com

November 2014 — SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL MANAGEMENT — Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability [GAO, 4.6MB, 60 Pages]

November 2014 Nye County Official: Rep. Hardy Supports Yucca Mountain — Nye County Commission nuclear waste liaison Dan Schinhofen is confident that he has the support of newly elected Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev., in his effort to restart the stalled Yucca Mountain project. Schinhofen told KNPR's State of Nevada program that . . . Knprnews 88.9

Congressman-elect Cresent Hardy thanks supporters as Republicans gather to celebrate election victories, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, at Red Rock Resort. November 11, 2014 — What Nevada’s newest congressman has to say on Yucca Mountain, immigration and why he won
. . . Hardy is the first member of Nevada’s congressional delegation in decades to publicly say he would support a proposal to store the nation’s nuclear waste inside Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas. “If everything is safe, if the science says its safe for transportation, safe for storage, safe for all of the above, then I’m a supporter of it,” he said — Las Vegas Sun

November 05, 2014 — Yucca Mountain redux — The Republican takeover of the Senate and consequent sidelining of the Democratic majority leader, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, will undoubtedly increase calls for reviving the Energy Department—s proposed nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain — TheBulletin.org

November 05, 2014 — Without Reid, Yucca Mountain Looms — One of the biggest forces opposing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository just lost his power. With the GOP winning clear control of the Senate Tuesday night, talk of Keystone and export bills is at the forefront, and while these items may rank higher on the GOP agenda, Yucca may be the most likely to proceed — RollCall.com

November 01, 2014 — [Editorial] Congress should resume funding of Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site — USING YUCCA Mountain in Nevada as a central repository for the byproducts of nuclear power generation in the United States is not a perfect solution to a complex problem, but it’s far better than the status quo. A recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission report found that Yucca Mountain meets government requirements for the safe storage of nuclear waste. That conclusion should end the decades-long debate on the suitability of the site, but it almost certainly won’t stop political opposition to the project. Congress should lay politics aside and move forward anyway — BostonGlobe.com


December

December 31, 2014 — Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Just Shut Down; U.S. Still Has No System for Disposing of Nuclear Waste — The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant officially went offline Monday, halting the nuclear reaction process and beginning what could be a nearly 40-year process to fully decommission the plant. But what happens to all the plant’s nuclear waste at the end of those decades? No one knows for sure, because the U.S. government has nowhere to put it — News Week

December 29, 2014 — How Should the U.S. Handle Its Nuclear Waste? — An enduring challenge facing U.S. nuclear power revolves around a simple question: What should we do about the waste this process produces? To get some insights, we put this question to a group of energy experts — including a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and a leader of the energy practice at the Boston Consulting Group — wsj.com
[Readers Note — See this for clarification of "What's really on the ground, i.e., in terms of actual infrastructure" at Yucca Mountain]

December 23, 2014 — Yucca Mountain Won't Open Without Water — Funding to complete Yucca Mountain isn’t the only thing the federal Energy Department needs. The agency will also need to acquire water and land rights before it gets approval to store the nation’s most radioactive waste beneath a mountain some 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas — KnprNews.com

December 19, 2014 — NRC Publishes Volume 4 of Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation Report — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has published Volume 4 of its safety evaluation report on the proposed underground geologic nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada — The NRC

December 18, 2014 — NRC finds hole in Yucca Mountain bid — WASHINGTON – Federal safety analysts have found a flaw in the plan to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain –the government does not have the necessary water rights to operate at the Nevada site. In a report issued Thursday, staff at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded the lack of assured water fails the standard to license a nuclear waste complex — By STEVE TETREAULT STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Sen Reid and Heller - NV December 16, 2014 — Heller Pledges Yucca Mountain Will Stay Dead Despite Leaving Energy Committee — Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., pledged that a proposal to build a nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain would remain dead, even though he is stepping away from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to join the Finance Committee. "I don't think it changes the dynamics," Heller said of his new committee assignment for the 114th Congress — roocall.com

December 10, 2014 — Omnibus Bill Doesn't Make Nuclear Waste Management a Priority — The House gave no additional funds for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) work to finish the review of the Yucca Mountain license in its massive omnibus appropriations bill. While it did find room to spend taxpayer money to fight international poaching of rhinos, Congress did not see fit to ensure that adequate funding is available for long-term management of nuclear waste at commercial nuclear power reactors around the nation. The NRC has been clear that it lacks the means to finish anything beyond the safety evaluation reports. For all the verbal support many in the House have given, Congress should have done more to ensure that the entire licensing process is finished — DailySignal.com

December 09, 2014 — Editorial: Window is opening for Yucca Mountain — The time might be right for South Carolina’s congressional delegation to once again help push to revive the much-needed Yucca Mountain underground nuclear waste repository GreenVilleOnline.com

December 06. 2014 — Feds want to save sage grouse with conditions, Interior secretary says . . . [at the meeting of the Western Governors Association, Energy "Secretary Moniz also reaffirmed to Governor Sandoval] that the position of the Department under this Administration has been unwavering — Yucca Mountain is not a workable solution — RJ.com

December 01, 2014 — Where will all our nuclear waste go? Disposal is at a critical stage, feds say — A public education push is vital if America is to solve its critical nuclear waste disposal problem that grows more expensive by the day, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. "Used nuclear fuel that has been removed from the reactor core of a nuclear power plant is an extremely harmful substance if not managed properly," the GAO wrote. "Without protective shielding, its intense radioactivity can kill a person who is directly exposed to it or cause long-term health hazards, such as cancer. ... If it were released by a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, it could contaminate the environment with radiation." — Ocregister.com

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