RealNews

Nuclear Backers Modify Stance on Waste

Nuclear energy advocates who have said a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada must be opened before a new power reactor can be ordered are now backing away from that position, as completion of the repository looks later and less certain and the prospect for new reactors improves. The Energy Department describes the Yucca project as essential to the future of nuclear energy, but private sector advocates are trying to decouple the future of the industry from the government’s success there. Some nuclear supporters say the industry has made a strategic error by tying its future to the repository, which was once supposed to open in 1998, and is now scheduled for 2010. The departing energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, said earlier this month that the opening would be even further off than that. In the meantime, as pools for spent fuel fill up, utility companies are building giant concrete-and-steel casks near their reactors designed to hold waste for many decades. Full Story

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