Skip to main content

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.

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.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …