WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new report from the Department of Energy on the future of "transmutation" of high level nuclear waste could offer an eventual alternative to underground storage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.
The transmutation process transforms high level nuclear waste into more stable elements which remain toxic for a shorter period of time.
"Transmutation is not the answer to all our questions about nuclear waste storage, but it does hold promise as an alternative to permanent burial at Yucca Mountain," Reid said. "I fully support increased research and development funding to explore this exciting new technology and its potential for changing the direction that Congress has taken on nuclear waste disposal in Nevada."
As the top Democrat, or ranking member on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Reid worked with committee chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) to fund $9 million dollars in transmutation research for FY 2000. The Energy Department's report recommends an investment of $281 million over six years for continued research and development.