The Center agrees. Center President Norris McDonald visited the Yucca Mountain site in 2002 and he believes it is the perfect location as our national repository for nuclear waste. The Center also believes Yucca Mountain is an ideal site for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.
It is ironic and very sad that a Noble Prize winning physicists, DOE Secretary Steven Chu, is promoting a political decision instead of a scientific decision. The report, released Tuesday, concluded that DOE had not fully complied with all regulations in its hasty shutdown of the project. DOE strongly disagreed with much of the report in a 14-page letter to the GAO.
A Presidential Blue Ribbon Commission is researching alternatives to Yucca Mountain. The Center presented testimony before the commission. That could include reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, but there would still be high-level waste residues from the process, plus weapons waste from Hanford and other sites, that would need to be disposed of, the report said.
The Center agrees with the GAO assessment that:
"...termination would also restart the costly and time-consuming process of finding a permanent disposal repository or some other solution for spent nuclear fuel and could take decades and billions of additional dollars."
The Center agrees with the GAO report conclusion that: "Shutting down the Yucca Mountain project also may have further damaged DOE's credibility." (The News Tribune, 5/11/2011)