The federal plan to use the Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a nuclear dumping site will proceed.
After many delays and controversies, the government will continue after years of research on the location. This summer, the Energy Department will publish a new schedule that details how and when they will submit the license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Moving forward into the licensing procedure will also be up for debate, according to Paul Golan, director of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.
Many believe that the debates and delays are creating more of a problem than is needed. Golan says, “the waste is here today, let’s not pass this burden onto our children.”
Still, though, critics think that the Yucca Mountain site project should be abandoned completely.
Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat says that the project is mired in scientific, safety, and technical problems. Many believe that there could even be problems with the actual shipping of nuclear waste by rail and road from sites in 39 states across the nation.
Originally scheduled to open in 2010, officials say that it will most likely be ready by 2015. Failure to proceed with the repository would force the 104 operating nuclear plants in the United States to store their own high-level radioactive waste on their own sites, increasing exposure and boosting cancer risk.
The delays in the Yucca Mountain waste site will cost taxpayers more than $2 billion through 2010.