Since the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository has gotten the axe from President Obama, nuclear power plants around the country are faced with the prospect of virtually indefinite "temporary" storage of their nuclear waste in the form of spent fuel rods. The US Department of Energy has a legal obligation to find a permanent disposal facility for the spent fuel, and the agreements currently in place presumed that Yucca Mountain would be accepting nuclear waste by 2025 which clearly won’t happen. (Photo of dry cask temporary storage method for spent nuclear fuel from Connecticut Yankee). More after the break. […]
Thanks to Harold at the Ontario-geofish blog, I came accross this AP article that releases the first Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository cost estimate update since 2001. The US DOE now puts the cost of the facility at $90 billion, up $32 billion from that 2001 estimate. Of course that estimate is slightly deceptive. It covers the $9 billion already spent and 100 years of operation. Perhaps the bigger issue is funding has not been secured largely in part to the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-NV). If a steady stream of money can be secured, the best case scenario for the facility is a 2020 opening.
I also found a neat blog called Yucca Facts that has a refreshing perspective on the facility that is pro-science if not necessarily pro-Yucca. They also have a commentary about this latest DOE announcement and some commentary on Senator Reid.