Obama budget: no money for Yucca Mountain

| 3/4/2009

Truckers who have piloted loads of nuclear waste will be interested to learn that the Yucca Mountain proposal may be on the Obama administration’s chopping block.

According to The Washington Post, the budget released last week eliminates nearly all funding for what thenewspaperdescribed as creating a permanent burial site for a large part of the nation’s radioactive nuclear waste at a repository in Nevada.

Depositing the nation’s nuclear waste at the desert site in Nevada has been a huge controversy since Congress selected the location in 1987. According to the Department of Energy, the Yucca Mountain facility was to begin accepting spent fuel by Jan. 31, 1998. That has yet to happen.

Stephanie Mueller, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy, said yesterday that Yucca Mountain “is not an option.”

Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, hailed the decision as a major victory in a letter to fellow Nevadans on his Senate Web site. He reported that President Obama will announce plans to devise a new strategy to find another solution to deal with the nation’s nuclear waste, which does not include storing it in Nevada.

The repository is located in a desert on federal land adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, about 80 miles northwest of the Las Vegas metropolitan area.