The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of requires DOE to take title to, remove, and transport spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactor sites to a permanent geologic repository or interim monitored retrievable storage facility before permanent disposal. After years of scientific study, Yucca Mountain was shown to be the most promising site. Inafter DOE conducted studies of nine potential sites, Congress selected the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as the only site for further study for the first national repository of high level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Infollowing extensive characterization of the site by DOE, its national laboratories, and many universities, the Secretary of Energy determined that Yucca Mountain was suitable for repository development and recommended the president approve the site for development.
Introduction[ edit ] Spent nuclear fuel is the radioactive by-product of electricity generation at commercial nuclear power plants, and high-level radioactive waste is the by-product from reprocessing spent fuel to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.
This policy is a federal law called the Nuclear Waste Policy Act which made the DOE responsible for finding a site, building, and operating an underground disposal facility called a geologic repository.
The recommendation to use a geologic repository dates back to when the National Academy of Sciences recommended that the best means of protecting the environment and public health and safety would be to dispose of the waste in rock deep underground.
An estimated 10, metric tons 9, long tons; 11, short tons of the waste would be from America's military nuclear programs. The ten sites were studied and results of these preliminary studies were reported in Based on these reports, President Ronald Reagan approved three sites for intensive scientific study called site characterization.
The Act provided that if during site characterization the Yucca Mountain location was found unsuitable, studies would be stopped immediately. This option expired when the site was actually recommended by the President. On July 23,President George W.
Bush signed House Joint Resolution 87,  Pub. The DOE was to begin accepting spent fuel at the Yucca Mountain Repository by January 31, but did not do so because of a series of delays due to legal challenges, concerns over how to transport nuclear waste to the facility, and political pressures resulting in underfunding of the construction.
On July 18, the DOE proposed March 31, as the date to open the facility and begin accepting waste based on full funding. Following the mid-term Congressional elections, Democratic Nevada Senator Harry Reida longtime opponent of the repository, became the Senate Majority Leaderputting him in a position to greatly affect the future of the project.
Reid has said that he would continue to work to block completion of the project, and is quoted as having said: The project was able to reallocate resources and delay transportation expenditures to complete the License Application for submission on June 3, During his presidential campaign, President Barack Obama promised to abandon the Yucca Mountain project.
The facility[ edit ] A tour group entering the North Portal of Yucca Mountain The purpose of the Yucca Mountain project is to comply with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of and develop a national site for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste storage. There are also several cathedral-like alcoves that branch from the main tunnel.
It is in these alcoves that most of the scientific experiments were conducted. The emplacement drifts smaller diameter tunnels branching off the main tunnel where waste would have been stored were not constructed since they required a construction authorization by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Currently, the US has no civil reprocessing plant. This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.
Based on the cost estimate, approximately 73 percent is funded from consumers of nuclear-powered electricity and 27 percent by the taxpayers.The Yucca Mountain Project.
In , DOE released to the public a five-volume synthesis of 15 years of study of Yucca Mountain, entitled “Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain.” I convened a five-person panel of senior scientists to review and comment on central earth science issues.
Jun 03, · The Trump administration favors storing the nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, and the president’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes $ million to revive the stalled project.
Despite a stalemate in Congress that appears to have shelved action on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project for the year, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval urged state officials to be prepared and proactive and to take the battle to the federal government. Jun 03, · The Trump administration favors storing the nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, and the president’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes $ million to revive the stalled project.
Current Status of the Yucca Mountain Project Update — Here the most recent comprehensive press news about the status of Yucca Mountain Background: As of the status of the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain remains uncertain.
As way of background, in Yucca Mountain was officially designated as the site to store the nation's spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The former chief scientist of the Yucca Mountain Project has released a two-volume, page book on the history of the project.
Dr. Michael Voegele, a plus year resident of Southern Nevada, along with co-author Donald Vieth, recently released Waste of a Mountain: How Yucca Mountain was Selected, Studied, and Dumped through Nye County Press.