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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yucca Mountain: Fission Waste Site to Open in 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Project will open March 31, 2017. That seems like a long time to us. We wish this timetable could be speeded up. The fed was supposed to take responsibility for storing nuclear waste in 1998, but litigation and controversy have delayed the project. We need that repository as soon as possible. AAEA will continue to support the speedy opening of this facility.

The federal government is legally obligated to accept waste from the nation’s commercial fission reactors and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 authorized the first federally run nuclear waste dump. Currently, more than 50,000 metric tons of nuclear waste are stored on-site at fission plants in 31 states. The proposed facility at Yucca will hold at least 77,000 metric tons of fission waste. AAEA President Norris McDonald, pictured at right at the facility, scoped the mountain and the tunnel in 2002.

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