Feb 11, 2010

Science Scene - Beyond Yucca?

US Senate Majority Harry Reid has asked the GAO to investigagte other potential uses of the Yucca Mountain repository site in his home state of Nevada. Reid sent the letter to US Comptroller General Gene Dodaro on February 2, a day after DOE filed a motion with NRC to halt for 30 days legal proceedings on the department's repository license application. The proposed budget for fiscal 2011 budget, which begins October 1, that DOE released February 1 said the department would withdraw the license application within 30 days and eliminate this fiscal year the office that worked on it.

In his letter, Reid suggested the Government Accountability Office consider how the Yucca Mountain site -- roughly 95 miles outside Las Vegas -- and related facilities and land could be used "for national security activities, included armed services readiness, intelligence gathering, and defense technology testing and demonstration; for renewable energy technology development, testing and demonstration; for arms control, verification, weapons detection, and another nonproliferation-related activities; as a science and/or engineering laboratory for sensitive work requiring either underground or remote experimentation; and as a facility for federal government continuity-of-operations activities."

While I would prefer that the repository be reserved for future use related to the nuclear industry (even if we adopt reprocessing technology, there will still be waste), I also do not want the billions spent do date to go to waste.  Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

1 comment:

  1. This is a sensitive subject for me because this is my home state and I live in Las Vegas. I know exactly where Yucca is. For me personally, the jury is still out on Reid's letter and the decisions or his desires for Yucca mountain. This issue has been going on for many years now and it's a very big deal.
    If I had to cast an opinion right now about Yucca Mountain, I would not want that money going to waste and would agree with "some" of Senator Reid's suggested uses.
    Thanks for the great post!


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