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.
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission – No. 08-106 – June 3, 2008
NRC RECEIVES DOEâ€™S LICENSE APPLICATION TO CONSTRUCT HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission received an application today from the U.S. Department of Energy for a license to construct the nationâ€™s first geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nev.
â€œWe are ready to get to work on this challenging review,â€ said NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein. â€œCongress has given the NRC a strict timetable for reviewing this application, and I want to assure the American people that we will perform an independent, rigorous and thorough examination to determine whether the repository can safely house the nationâ€™s high-level waste. The NRCâ€™s licensing decision will be based entirely on the technical merits.â€ [Editor] Read on for the rest of the press release [/Editor]
On the Radwaste blog by Geoff, I read about Borehole Disposal of Sealed Radioactive Sources or BOSS. This technology, which is explained by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) consists of disposal of smaller quantities of radioactive waste in specially engineered boreholes 30 to 100-m (approx. 100 to 330-ft) deep in suitable geologic media. Read on for more info. (Diagram by IAEA)