ENR reports that a nuclear waste repository for spent nuclear fuel in Sweden could begin construction as early as 2016. The facility would consist of 50km of tunnels in granite bedrock up to 500-m deep. The proposed site is approximately 75-km north of Stockholm. The projected cost of the facility is $2.5 billion to $3.2 billion (US$ I presume). The Swedes would be chasing the Finns who might be the first country to have a permanent underground nuclear waste repository for spent nuclear fuel. (Illustration by BBC of Finland’s proposed repository)
More problems for the US Department of Energy related to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. The New York Times is reporting that the DOE is already 10 years behind in a commitment made to Power Companies to store their nuclear waste, and according to the DOE, it will likely be at least another 10 years before they are able to begin accepting waste for permanent storage. Who cares you ask? Well, the US has already payed out $342 million in 60 lawsuits filed by utility companies, and that total could reach $11 billion according to government estimates or $35 billion according to industry estimates before Yucca Mountain finaly opens and begins accepting waste. Source: New York Times by way of Ontario-geofish.
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.