Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama Budget Proposes Cutting Yucca Mountain Budget

President Obama's FY 2010 Budget Request would cut funding for the proposed nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. A document accompanying Mr. Obama's proposal said funding for the project "will be scaled back to those costs necessary to answer inquiries from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, while the Administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear-waste disposal." (WSJ 2/26/09) Center President Norris McDonald is pictured at left at the exit of the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

The Center, through its work with the Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition (NFRC), is proposing that nuclear waste should be taken out of the U.S. Department of Energy altogether with responsiblity transfered to a new agency that would only manage such products. NFRC is proposing to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101) to establish the United States Nuclear Waste Management Agency (NWMA) to manage all Federal and civilian spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste management programs currently under the control of the United States Department of Energy. NWMA would also establish and operate low-level radioactive waste receipt, supplementary segregation, treatment and burial or monitored/retrievable storage facilities on a fee basis. It would promote spent nuclear fuel reprocessing as a viable technology to aid in achieving and maintaining our national security and National Energy Policy goals. It would also expedite the ability to significantly reduce the total volume of radioactive waste designated for disposal in a Federal geologic repository at Yucca Mountain.

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