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Site Map — YuccaMountain.org
The Web Yucca

The Inside Story
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.

Other Program News

  • 2021 GAO Report — 3MB PDF 62 Pages
  • 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

  • Past Press News

    December 01, 2021 — Notice of Request for Information (RFI) on Using a Consent-Based Siting Process To Identify Federal Interim Storage Facilities — The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), requests information on how to site Federal facilities for the temporary, consolidated storage of spent nuclear fuel using a consent-based approach. DOE anticipates that communities; governments at the local, State, and Tribal levels; members of the public; energy and environmental justice groups; organizations or corporations; and other stakeholders may be interested in responding to this Request for Information (RFI). We especially welcome insight from people, communities, and groups that have historically not been well-represented in these discussions. Responses to the RFI will inform development of a consent-based siting process, overall strategy for an integrated waste management system, and possibly a funding opportunity — U.S. Dept. of Energy
    Print Notice [Loca Nevada Press Coverage]

    September 28, 2021 — Senator Markey and Rep. Levin introduce legislation to determine a viable, consent-based path forward for nuclear waste — Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) today introduced the Nuclear Waste Task Force Act, legislation to establish a new task force to consider the implications of amending the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to remove exemptions from environmental laws for nuclear waste. Eliminating this loophole could help enable consent-based siting of long-term storage solutions for nuclear waste. The task force would also be responsible for providing a clear explanation of what constitutes “consent-based siting.” — www.markey.senate.gov
    A copy of the legislation can be found HERE

    September 23, 2021 — GAO: Congress needs to act on nuclear waste — The federal government’s watchdog says Congress must act to break the nation’s nuclear waste logjam — a problem lawmakers themselves helped create, according to a report out this afternoon. Without action, the Government Accountability Office estimated the federal liability for failure to dispose of more than 85,000 metric tons of waste from commercial nuclear operations could approach $60 billion by 2030. That new accounting represents roughly a 54 percent increase from the government’s current liability exposure estimates of $39 billion, according to Department of Energy financial documents. GAO said the numbers “may be an underestimate.” “The U.S. government faces billions of dollars in federal financial liabilities for not fulfilling its responsibilities for managing this material, as well as the potential risks associated with not developing a permanent disposal repository for spent nuclear fuel,” the report said. Active management of nuclear waste disposal has effectively stalled over the past decade following the Obama administration’s decision to shutter the controversial Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada, citing concerns and harsh opposition from the state. . . . Active management of nuclear waste disposal has effectively stalled over the past decade following the Obama administration’s decision to shutter the controversial Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada, citing concerns and harsh opposition from the state — [E&E News]

    Download GAO Report — COMMERCIAL SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL (Congressional Action Needed to Break Impasse and Develop a Permanent Disposal Solution — 3MB PDF 62 Pages)

    September 14, 2021 — Nuclear waste storage facility at Texas-New Mexico border granted federal license — A facility to store high-level spent nuclear fuel along the Texas-New Mexico state line received a federal license Monday after years of debate. The project would expand a facility in Andrews, Texas owned by Interim Storage Partners (ISP), a joint venture with Orano USA and Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to hold up to 40,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods temporarily while a permanent repository is developed [There is presently no permanent disposal facility in the U.S. for the waste after a project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada was cancelled during the administration of former-President Barack Obama] — currentargus.com

    August 4, 2021 — Sisolak: Biden promises no nukes to Yucca Mountain Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden has promised to block shipping nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain. He quoted Biden as saying: “I assure you as president there will be no storage at Yucca Mountain, period.” Every Nevada governor since the nuclear dump was first proposed has fought to prevent the federal government from moving high level waste to the mountain 90 miles north of Las Vegas Nevada Appeal

    July 12, 2021 — House panel OKs funding bill without money for Yucca Mountain — The U.S. House of Representatives took an initial step on Monday toward not funding the proposed nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain for fiscal year 2022, following a decade-long trend supported by D ...... reviewjournal.com

    July 08, 2021 — State settles violations over Energy Department low-level radioactive waste shipments, requires increased monitoring, preventative policies — State regulators are requiring the U.S. Department of Energy to increase monitoring of waste at the Nevada National Security Site and establish new preventative protocols to address violations after the agency shipped unapproved low-level radioactive waste to the site for years — thenevadaindependent.com

    June 6, 2021 — Energy secretary: ‘Yucca Mountain will not be a storage place for nuclear waste’ —— NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — During her visit to southern Nevada on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said plans to use Yucca Mountain as a nuclear storage waste facility are off the table. The site 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas has been the center of legislative and legal battles for decades — 8newsnow.com [More Coverage Las Vegas Review Journal]

     Jennifer Granholm April 08, 2021 — Energy Sec.: US Must “Modernize” Nuclear Arsenal for National Security . . . The department will also continue to work on solutions to storing spent nuclear fuel, but does not yet have an announcement on its efforts to do so. Any efforts to open a spent nuclear waste repository would require “community agreement,” Granholm said, noting that a proposed location in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain does not meet that benchmark — www.ny1.com

    May 03, 2021 — Two (2) page Letter to Jennifer Granholm, Secretary U.S. Department of Energy [PDF] — Subject: Request to Establish DOE Office Dedicated to Nuclear Waste Management
    The letter was signed by:
    Craig Piercy Executive Director/CEO American Nuclear Society (ANS)
    Chair, Decommissioning Plant Coalition (DPC) Steering Committee, and President & CEO, Yankee Atomic Electric Company
    Chair, Energy Community Alliance Executive Board, and County Executive, Roane County, Tennessee
    President, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and President, Idaho Public Utilities Commission
    Maria G. Korsnick President & CEO Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)
    Katie Sieben Chair, Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition (NWSC), and Chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
    Charles Fairhurst, Ph.D. Science Panel Member Sustainable Fuel Cycle Task Force Science Panel
    Bud Albright President & CEO United States Nuclear Industry Council (US NIC)

    April 07, 2021 — U.S. NWTRB to Hold Public Meeting on U.S. DOE Management Approach for Advanced Nuclear Fuels Including Accident Tolerant Fuels — NWTRB

    March 29, 2021 — New Mexico files lawsuit to block Holtec nuclear waste facility, cites risk to oil and gas — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit against the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission intended to block a project to build a temporary storage facility for high-level nuclear waste in southeast New Mexico — currentargus.com
    More Coverage — courthousenews.com

    March 16, 2021 — Edison aims to rally allies nationwide to push feds on permanent nuclear waste storage — Millions of pounds of highly radioactive waste won't be removed from the bluff over the Pacific Ocean at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station until state officials, local leaders and average citizens join forces to demand that the federal government push past paralysis and find a home for the nation's nuclear waste, according to new action plans from Southern California Edison and an independent panel of experts released Monday, March 15 — energycentral.com

    March 10, 2021 — Furor in Japanese Town Casts Light on Fukushima’s Legacy — When a mayor volunteered his town for a study on nuclear waste, his house was firebombed, reflecting the lingering anxiety 10 years after the Fukushima disaster — nytimes.com

    March 10, 2021 — Letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm from the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition [The collection is composed of state attorneys general, utility commissioners and consumer advocates from places with existing or retired nuclear reactors] — NWSC

    March 09, 2021 — Husker-led research team aims for safer storage of nuclear waste — With a three-year, $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and looking many millennia into the future, a research team headed by University of Nebraska–Lincoln engineering faculty is developing a new barrier material that would make the deep geologic disposal and storage of spent nuclear fuel a much safer proposition — news.unl.edu

    March 02, 2021 — Nevada Democrats reintroduce push to block Yucca Mountain — Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is reviving a push to block the creation of a national nuclear-waste dump at Yucca Mountain. Cortez Masto, Nevada's other Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen and the state's three Democratic Reps. Dina Titus, Susie, Lee and Steven Horsford re-introduced legislation on Tuesday that Cortez Masto has run in past years which would bar the federal government from moving nuclear waste into a state without first receiving permission from the governor and local officials — Las Vegas Sun
    [More Coverage — thenevadaindependent.com

    February 28, 2021 — Steven Chu Blames Government Contractors For Ongoing Nuclear Waste Debacle The United States continues to struggle with legacy military nuclear waste, former Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, because the contractors making billions from it have opposed a better solution — forbes.com

    Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to be the secretary of the Department of Energy February 25, 2021 — Granholm, Yucca Mountain opponent, confirmed as energy secretary — WASHINGTON: The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to confirm former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to be the secretary of the Department of Energy. Granholm was confirmed on a 64-35 vote.

    Nevada Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen both voted in support of the confirmation. During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Granholm assured Cortez Masto that she was opposed to restarting the licensing process to build a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, north of Las Vegas — rj.com

    Dr Matt Bowen January 28, 2021 — Forging a Path Forward on US Nuclear Waste Management: Options for Policy Makers — Nuclear power is considered in many countries a critical facet to maintaining reliable access to electricity during a global transition to low-carbon energy sources. One challenge to its potential in the United States, however, is the current standstill regarding a disposal pathway for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from commercial reactors. This impasse has a negative bearing on nuclear energy’s ability to supply more zero-carbon electricity and may cost US taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in government liability for failing to meet contractual obligations to take possession of the waste from utilities.

    Despite the scientific community assessing that commercial SNF and other high-level radioactive waste (HLW), such as from defense activities, can be safely isolated in deep underground repositories, US efforts to license and operate one have flatlined. The original plan for siting at least two repositories for such waste was abandoned first by DOE and then by Congress. Yucca Mountain in Nevada was designated in law as the nation’s sole potential disposal site by Congress in 1987, fomenting the state’s opposition to the project. As a result of that opposition, Congress has not funded the project since 2010. — Columbia | SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy |    Print PDF

    Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm January 27, 2021 — Yucca? That’s a no, reassures Biden’s Energy nominee — WASHINGTON: The Biden Administration will not be trying to put ship nuclear waste to to Yucca Mountain, Energy Secretary nominee former Michigan Gov. Jeniffer Granholm reassured lawmakers Wednesday. Granholm offered the reassurance during a nomination hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing — nevadacurrent.com

    January 06, 2021 — Billions could be saved at Savannah River Site by reclassifying radioactive wastes, DOE says — Billions upon billions of dollars and years of toil could be saved by classifying and treating certain kinds of nuclear wastes currently trapped at sites across the U.S. as less dangerous, based on their characteristics, a new evaluation from the Department of Energy shows — postandcourier.com

    Fred Dilger as the executive director for the state Agency for Nuclear Projects December 07, 2020 — Sisolak names head of agency at forefront of Yucca Mountain fight — Dilger “has been at the forefront in our state’s efforts in nuclear waste policy and in halting the Yucca Mountain project,” Sisolak said in a statement. “I am confident his dedication and expertise will continue to lead the Agency of Nuclear Projects and our great state of Nevada in the right direction.” Dilger, who received his Ph.D from Arizona State University, will replace Bob Halstead, who retired in July after serving in the position for 11 years — Las Vegas Sun

    November 13, 2020 — Experts: Nuclear waste storage a concern in New Mexico, Southwest — Several nuclear waste experts are urging members of Congress and the public to oppose any proposals to transport highly radioactive nuclear waste from power plants to temporary or long-term storage sites. Researchers with multiple groups dedicated to analyzing the potential consequences of nuclear waste storage said Friday they have major concerns with plans to transport spent fuel to other parts of the country — even for permanent storage at a place such as Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Work on the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository has been stalled for nearly a decade — santafenewmexican.com

    November 09, 2020 — Cortez Masto, Rosen reiterate ‘zero funds’ for Yucca Mountain licensing — LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A letter by U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen reiterates a demand for “zero funds” for licensing activity for the proposed Yucca Mountain Waste Repository site in 2021 funding —8newsnow.com [Read the Letter]

    November 05, 2020 — U.S. NWTRB to Hold Public Meeting on U.S. DOE Repository R&D Program and Priorities — NWTRB

    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

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