NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Federal Report Says Yucca Mountain Repository Is Safe

October 23, 2014

A new report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concludes that storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain would be safe, contradicting the claims of many opponents who have argued that such a storage facility would be dangerous.

Yucca Mountain is located in the Nevada desert. Several years ago, the Department of Energy applied to the NRC, seeking approval for a project that would store nuclear waste in a repository at Yucca Mountain over the long term. The scientific community, report Jack Spencer and Katie Tubb for the Daily Signal, has long been in support of storing nuclear waste deep underground. They cite an earlier Heritage Foundation study which detailed the importance of Yucca Mountain to the long-term success of a nuclear energy sector in the United States, as nuclear energy generates waste that must be stored in a safe repository.

However, President Obama withdrew the Yucca application in the middle of the review process, calling the project "not a workable option," despite $15 billion in tax dollars having been spent on the project.

However, the new report from the NRC concludes that the project is a workable option, and the agency reports that the project meets necessary safety standards. Federal regulations require that any proposed repository protect the environment and people for at least 1 million years -- a standard which the NRC says the Yucca Mountain project meets.

Source: Jack Spencer and Katie Tubb, "The Final Word on Yucca," Daily Signal, October 16, 2014.  


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