Nevada moves to block surface storage of waste at Yucca Mountain
Nevada has petitioned the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to prevent indefinite surface storage of thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
Bob Loux, head of the state Agency for Nuclear Projects, said the Department of Energy wants to store up to 21,000 tons of nuclear waste at the site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Loux said the Nuclear Waste Policy Act specifically prohibits a large interim storage site in Nevada as long as the state is the proposed location of the permanent repository. He said the proposed surface storage could last for decades.
Loux termed the proposal “nothing more than an unlawful interim storage site in embarrassingly thin disguise.”
He said it would increase the frequency of rail and highway waste shipments across the nation to Yucca Mountain, increasing the already risky waste transportation.
He asked the commission to limit surface storage at the site to no more than one year. And he urged the commission to settle the issue before DOE proceeds further.
DOE plans to submit a Yucca Mountain license application for a nuclear waste repository to the commission in June 2008, six years late according to the law.