TITLENuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain
DATE PUBLISHED6 February 2009

This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report addresses the 2009 status of the proposed site of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, with a particular consideration of the impact of the U.S. President Barack Obama administration's lack of support of the repository. The Department of Energy's (DOE) projections for the shipment and storage of spent nuclear fuel to Yucca Mountain provide insight into the magnitude of the problem, showing that even if waste storage begins in 2020 as proposed, the backlog of spent fuel stored at reactor sites would not begin to be reduced until 2024. Options for delaying or halting Yucca Mountain are presented with their probable consequences, such as the effect of the delay on the licensing of new power plants and government liabilities to states regarding removal of waste. A final section suggests options such as interim storage and selection of a new repository site. In addition to content, the report provides a window into the relationships among the nuclear power industry, congress, and the government agencies involved in managing nuclear waste.

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