New Legislation Clears Way for Return of Yucca Mtn Nuclear Waste Storage
The decision was puzzling, some even said dangerous. In 2009, former President Obama significantly cut funding to for the Yucca Mountain (Nevada) Nuclear Waste Repository project, and by 2011, it was all but dead.
In 2014 even papers such as the Boston Globe were saying the project should be refunded. The decision seemed puzzling, as there is really nowhere else for the waste to be kept in long term storage.
Now in 2018, Congressional leaders have approved legislation that will likely clear the path for the construction of the site to resume. Rep Dan Newhouse says House Bill 3053 has cleared the House by a vote of 340-72. The bill will clear the way for the site to resume and will provide a number of reforms and streamlines for the nation's nuclear waste disposal policies.
For years, Hanford and a few other sites around the country have been storing spent nuclear fuel from reactors, as well as old waste from WWII and Cold War projects. Eventually, it is hoped most of the waste stored in the 167 tanks at Hanford will be interred at Yucca Mountain.
The site was chosen because of it's stability, lack of erosion, and would be far less likely that others to allow radioactive wastes to seep through the earth and potentially contaminate water sources or other areas.