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Current Status of the Yucca Mountain Repostory Program — GAO
Yucca Mountain, Nevada's View — State of Nevada
Yucca Mountain, What’s Really There? — State of Nevada
Yucca Mountain redux — TheBulletin.org
More background info.

Recent Program News

  • Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste — The GAO
  • Recent Yucca Mountain Legislation — U.S. Congress
  • Yucca Mountain Update: Presentation to Nevada Legislature — State of Nevada

  • Current Press News

    October 23, 2020 — Retiring congressman pins Rep. Jeff Duncan as potential nuclear waste, energy leader — U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, a retiring Illinois Republican, sees South Carolina’s Jeff Duncan continuing the nuclear energy and nuclear waste fights in his absence, describing the Palmetto State Republican on Tuesday as enthusiastic and familiar — postandcourier.com [More Coverage — eenews.net]

    September 30, 2020 — Texas governor opposes interim storage site — Read the letter from the Governor to President Trump — State of Texas

    September 23, 2020 — New Mexico objects to license for nuclear fuel storage plan — ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state of New Mexico is strongly objecting to federal nuclear regulators’ preliminary recommendation that a license be granted to build a multibillion-dollar storage facility for spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants around the U.S. State officials, in a letter submitted Tuesday to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the site is geologically unsuitable and technical analysis has been inadequate so far. They also say regulators have failed to consider environmental justice concerns and have therefore fallen short of requirements spelled out by federal environmental laws — AP

    September 15, 2020 — Commentary: Next at San Onofre? Remove the fuel — thecoastnews.com

    September 07, 2020 — EDITORIAL: Nevada grateful for Halstead’s many years fighting nuclear waste — On this Labor Day, the Sun salutes a recently retired Nevada leader whose three decades of tireless public service unquestionably made a difference in our state. Bob Halstead, who stepped down last month as the executive director for the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, will be long remembered for his staunch defense of the state against the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project. It’s scary to think where Nevada might be today if not for Halstead and his guard-dogging against the federal government’s attempts to shove the nation’s high-level nuclear waste down our throats — Las Vegas Sun Print PDF

    August 26, 2020 — If Trump and Biden agree there shouldn’t be a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain, can’t we all? — Believe it or not, there is an issue on which Donald Trump and Joe Biden agree: Both have announced their opposition to building an underground repository to permanently store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. With the presidential candidates on record, it is time for everyone else to accept that Yucca Mountain is finally off the table, and for the United States to begin to seriously consider realistic alternatives for safely managing the more than 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel currently sitting at 72 operating and shut-down commercial nuclear reactor sites across the country —thebulletin.org Print PDF

    August 23, 2020 — WHERE I STAND: Nevada is winning the war, but Yucca Mountain is not dead — Unfair. Unsafe. Undead. This is the status of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project. The state of Nevada has been fighting Yucca Mountain for more than 32 years. That is more than 11,920 days. For the 10th year in a row, Nevada’s U.S. Senate and House members came home on recess knowing they had again stopped congressional efforts to restart Yucca Mountain. Once again, they know they will have to return to Washington in September and continue the fight — Las Vegas Sun    Print PDF
    Related information — Report and Recommendations of the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projecs —
    PDF, 137 pages

    August 17, 2020 — INSIGHT: How Bedrock Environmental Law Can Break the Nuclear Waste Logjam — The 30-year battle over nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain in Nevada shows it’s time for the Atomic Energy Act to be amended. Geoffrey Fettus, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says Congress should pass legislation to end the exemption of nuclear waste from hazardous waste and other bedrock environmental laws — bloomberglaw.com    Print PDF

    July 29, 2020 — [New Mexico] Objecting to nuclear storage plan, Lujan Grisham writes to Trump — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is imploring President Donald Trump to side with state officials in opposing Holtec International’s plans to build an underground site that would house high-level, commercial nuclear waste in southeastern New Mexico — santafenewmexican.com

    July 13, 2020 — House panel OKs spending bill without funds for Yucca Mountain — WASHINGTON: A House panel approved a spending bill Monday that includes $27 million for interim storage of nuclear waste and no funds for a Yucca Mountain repository. The bill was considered a victory [for Nevada] — RJ.com

    July 12, 2020 — Yucca Mountain: Faster Water Flow Undermines Project Safety, UNR Geologist Says — The landscape appears arid. Yet, water flows at the heart of the controversy about a federal plan to build a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada. A new scientific paper concludes water is moving through the mountain much faster than researchers previously had suspected. This may increase the possibility that groundwater in the region could become contaminated with radioactive elements — .kunr.org

    July 08, 2020 — Bob Halstead, Nevada’s leading Yucca fighter, retires — WASHINGTON — The man whose name is synonymous with Nevada’s opposition to building a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is ending a career after three decades of service to the state under Dem...... — RJ.com Print PDF

    July 06, 2020 — Guest column [By Judy Treichel, Executive Director Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force] New Mexico nuclear facility is bad news — It may seem like good news in Nevada that an effort is underway in New Mexico to build a private storage facility for nuclear waste there. But don't be mistaken: This facility wouldn't be an alternative to the disastrous Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. In fact, its existence depends on Yucca Mountain becoming an operating repository. That's unacceptable, because the Nevada facility poses far too many risks for our state — Las Vegas Sun Print

    June 22, 2020 — EDITORIAL: President’s nuclear fantasy threatens Nevadans’ health, national security — Las Vegas Sun

    July 06, 2020 — House spending bill would ban nuclear weapons testing — A House spending bill for the Department of Energy includes legislative language tucked into the draft by Rep. Dina Titus that would prevent the Trump administration from resuming nuclear testing— RJ.com

    June 04, 2020 — Fight Over New Mexico Nuke Waste Plan Lands in DC Circuit — Opponents of a plan to ship highly radioactive nuclear waste from power plants across the U.S. to a site in rural New Mexico elevated their fight Thursday with a lawsuit against the federal regulators considering the plan

    June 01, 2020 — Industry to Explore Decentralized Nuclear Waste Disposal — Efforts to explore whether it is feasible to permanently dispose of high-level nuclear waste in deep horizontal boreholes under next-generation nuclear reactor sites got a boost in late April as nuclear waste technology firm Deep Isolation signed its first contract with industry — powermag.com

    June 01, 2020 — Why a US nuclear test in Nevada would be bad for the world — and Trump’s reelection — On May 15, according to reporting in the Washington Post and the Guardian, the Trump administration held serious discussions about whether to conduct a nuclear test explosion, and those conversations are continuing —thebulletin.org

    May 20, 2020 — Energy Department nominee shifts on Yucca Mountain question — Mark Menezes, the nominee for deputy secretary of the Energy Department, on Wednesday clarified remarks he made in February, saying the Trump administration has no plans to use Yucca Mountain — Las Vegas Review Journal

    May 19, 2020 — Tonopah quake bolsters Nevada’s case against Yucca dumpsite — A 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Tonopah last week has given state officials opposed to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project further evidence that Nevada’s seismic activity makes the state a bad choice for the storage facility — Las Vegas Sun

    2020 Draft Report for Comment — Environmental Impact Statement for Interim Storage Partners LLC’s License Application for a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel in Andrews County, Texas — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) prepared this draft environmental impact statement (EIS) in support of its environmental review of the Interim Storage Partners, LLC (ISP) license application to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and Greater-Than-Class C waste, along with a small quantity of spent mixed oxide fuel. The proposed CISF would be located at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) site in Andrews County, Texas. — The NRC
    (See: Press Coverage)

    April 30, 2020 — Amid COVID-19, Deep Borehole Disposal Of Nuclear Waste Marches Forward — The pandemic has certainly slowed America and the world to a crawl. But we will get back to some form of a working society, hopefully with a better perspective on what’s important. The temporary drop in carbon emissions from the lockdown of industrial and commercial activities around the world is one example, and has shown what is possible by decarbonizing society — forbes.com

    April 09, 2020 — Idaho lawmakers urge DOE to package nuclear waste at site — Idaho's entire congressional delegation sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette on Wednesday urging him to do more to get spent nuclear fuel at the DOE site west of Idaho Falls ready for removal — .postregister.com

    April 03, 2020 — Why should NM store nation’s nuclear waste? — If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s conclusion that it’s safe to move spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants across the country to a proposed storage facility in Lea County sounds vanilla-coated, it’s because the draft environmental impact statement for a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility submitted by Holtec International did not address how the casks containing the spent fuel would be transported to New Mexico — abqjournal.com

    March 03, 2020 — Energy secretary: No money for Yucca Mountain in budget — WASHINGTON: Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette reassured Nevada Tuesday that the Trump administration would not move to restart the Yucca Mountain project. His comments came during Senate testimony defending the president’s $35 billion budget request for the Energy Department. President Donald Trump sought funding in previous budgets to restart the licensing process for Yucca Mountain, only to be blocked by Congress — RJ.com [More Coverage — thenevadaindependent.com]

    February 26, 2020 —The US government insurance scheme for nuclear power plant accidents no longer makes sense — The Japan Center for Economic Research, a source sympathetic to nuclear power, recently put the long-term costs of the 2011 Fukushima accident as about $750 billion. Contrast that with the maximum of $13 billion that could be available after a catastrophic US nuclear accident under the plant owners’ self-insurance scheme defined by the Price-Anderson Act. The Act will have to be renewed before 2025 . . . thebulletin.org

    February 23, 2020 — One Side of a Nuclear Waste Fight: Trump. The Other: His Administration — The president, eyeing the battleground state of Nevada, has made clear he opposes a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain, reversing a policy that was made in his name — NYTimes.com

    A mining machine excavates alcoves and niches for exploratory scientific testing at Yucca Mountain. Credit: US Department of Energy February 21, 2020 — The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site has always been a political football. Trump is the latest president to fumble — As with much policy-setting in the Trump administration, a single tweet from the president on February 6 appeared to reverse a previous stance. The message about Yucca Mountain, the nation’s proposed geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste, set the media alight with speculation about new actions in US nuclear waste policy. But has anything changed, really? — thebulletin.org [Print PDF]

    February 14, 2020 — Trump administration still angling toward Yucca Mountain, Energy exec says — ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Trump administration is still very much interested in nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, but getting there requires a novel, stepwise approach, Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said Wednesday. The process, the under secretary told a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, could involve interim storage – a public or private holding pattern for the various nuclear wastes until Yucca Mountain, or another federal repository, gets the go-ahead — aikenstandard.com

    February 12, 2020 — Interim nuclear waste bill boosted by Trump budget — WASHINGTON — A Trump administration budget blueprint on nuclear waste storage appears to bolster one of the competing Senate plans to develop and place radioactive material at temporary sites until the Yucca Mountain stalemate is resolved or a permanent site selected — RJ.com [Print PDF]

    Trump tweet 0219 February 07, 2020 — Trump takes Yucca Mountain off the table. What’s that mean for San Onofre nuclear waste? — President Trump has made a U-turn on funding the long-delayed and long-debated Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada — but it’s unclear what his decision means for moving the 3.55 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant. In a tweet Thursday . . . A White House official confirmed that the administration will not include any funding for Yucca Mountain when it turns in its proposed 2021 budget next week — latimes.com

    February 06, 2020 — [Nevada] Governor Sisolak - Sisolak Support Letter re Whistleblower Protection Act.2-6-20 — State of Nevada

    February 06, 2020 — After including Nevada nuclear waste dump in budget for years, Trump signals reversal on Yucca — President Donald Trump Thursday signaled his support may be wavering on building a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain after years of including funding for the project in each of his budget recommendations. “Nevada, I hear you on Yucca Mountain and my Administration will RESPECT you!” the president wrote on Twitter. “Congress and previous Administrations have long failed to find lasting solutions – my Administration is committed to exploring innovative approaches – I’m confident we can get it done!” The White House did not immediately provide clarification about whether Trump no longer backs building the project — thenevadaindependent.com

    February 03, 2020 — The containers the U.S. plans to use for nuclear waste storage may corrode — Containers that the U.S. government plans to use to store dangerous nuclear waste underground may be more vulnerable to water damage than previously thought. Millions of liters of highly radioactive waste from the U.S. nuclear weapons program are currently held in temporary storage units across the country. The government’s game plan for permanently disposing of this material is to mix radioactive waste into glass or ceramic, seal it in stainless steel canisters and bury it deep underground. Such a nuclear waste dump may be constructed under Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but local opposition has stalled the project (SN: 1/16/02) — sciencenews.org

    December 09, 2019 — Life after Yucca Mountain: The time has come to reset US nuclear waste policy — After decades of inaction and stalemate, there are small but significant signs that the U.S. government may finally be ready to meet its legal commitment to manage and dispose of the more than 80,000 metric tons of used nuclear fuel at 74 operating and shut-down commercial nuclear reactors sites in 35 states across the country. The signs of progress include . . . thehill.com


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