Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NARUC Opposes DOE Plan To Abandon Yucca Mountain

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), a 120-year-old organization that represents state regulators, has joined a number of states in challenging the Department of Energy's plan to drop Yucca Mountain, Nevada as Amreric's national repository for high-level radioactive waste. NARUC filed a brief filed Tuesday with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board stating that utility ratepayers have paid $17 billion into a federal waste fund, and that terminating the licensing process for Yucca Mountain would put the process of finding permanent storage "back to square one."

Center President at Yucca 2003
The Obama administration's scientific basis for abandoning Yucca Mountain is basically nonexistent. The Bush administration, less than two years ago, filed 8,000 pages attesting to the suitability of the site for nuclear waste storage. DOE Secretary Steven Chu is clearly pained at public events when he tries to provide a scientific explanation for the department's decision.

NARUC wants the atomic licensing board to keep the Yucca application open pending a full review of storage options by a blue ribbon panel that Energy Secretary Steven Chu will convene later this month. (WSJ, 3/17/10)

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