Friday, March 14, 2008

DOE to File Yucca Mountain License Application in June, Official Says

The Department of Energy expects to file a license application in June for construction of the Yucca Mountain used fuel repository, the program’s director said last week.

Edward Sproat, director of DOE’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Office, said that he could not predict an operational date for the Nevada repository until Congress remedies the funding profile for the facility. Lawmakers have reduced funding for the repository in recent years, and several attempts to reform the funding mechanism for the project have stalled.

In addition, Sproat suggested that Yucca program funding would not be changed until DOE received construction authorization from the NRC. Such approval could occur as early as 2011 or 2012, he said.

The Yucca Mountain project “is alive and well,” Sproat said.

Sproat also suggested the possibility of a public-private partnership for managing the Yucca Mountain project. Here is the Associated Press take on the DOE Idea: Going Private With Nuclear Waste.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Lawmakers have reduced funding for the repository in recent years,..."

I don't understand how this can be done. I thought the work on Yucca Mtn. was funded by a millage levied on nuclear-generated electricity. That should be a more or less constant about of inflow, given the operating record of the fleet in recent years. If actual spending is being reduced, then either the millage should be correspondingly lowered, or Congress is re-directing the funds to "something else", which I would imagine would be illegal (i know it would be for me if I "redirected" project funds from their original intent).

KenG said...

Anonymous, using logic to assess government actions is very naive.

The waste fund goes into the general government revenues. It is "allocated" to nuclear waste issues, but none of it can be used until Congress appropriates. In the interim, it is a surplus in the budgets and makes the annual deficit appear smaller than it actually is. Does that explain why Congress is reluctant to actually spend it?

Anonymous said...

IOW, Keng, it's a rip-off.

One of my former employers had a policy where if project managers allocated project money to things other than work applied to the project, they'd be immediately fired, and in some cases brought up on civil/criminal charges. Guess that's one difference between industry and government.

Anonymous said...

"Alive and well" should read "on life support and doing a 411 on Kevorkian." Sadly Yucca Mountain will not happen until Harry Reid is pushing up daisies.

Anonymous said...

Well, if Harry Reid is the reason why Yucca Mtn. eventually collapses, he should be personally responsible for refunding the money paid by ratepayers to build the thing. That should break the SOB.

Likewise any intervenor groups.