13.02.2018_No31 / News in Brief

US Government Proposes $120M Funding For Yucca Mountain In 2019 Budget

Waste Management

13 Feb (NucNet): The White House has pledged $120m (€97m) of funding in its 2019 federal budget proposal for the planned Yucca Mountain deep geological repository in Nevada, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said in a statement.

From the $4,400bn budget proposal sent by president Donald Trump to US Congress yesterday, the DOE is expected to receive $30.6bn, the statement said.

The DOE said that $120m of its proposed budget will be for the development of the Yucca Mountain project and an interim nuclear waste storage programme. The move shows the government’s commitment to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and establishing a “robust” interim storage programme for the earlier acceptance of spent nuclear fuel, the DOE said.

In a separate statement, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it has allocated $48m for work related to Yucca Mountain in its 2019 budget of $971m which was proposed to Congress yesterday.

The Yucca Mountain site has been studied by the US government since the 1970s as a potential repository for nuclear waste. Billions of dollars have been spent on the project, but it has never opened for business because of legal challenges and opposition from local politicians, environmentalists and Native American groups.

In 2010, then-president Barack Obama withdrew the licence to store waste at Yucca Mountain amid opposition from then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada. Mr Trump’s energy secretary, Rick Perry, told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing in January 2017 that restarting the Yucca Mountain project could not be ruled out.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • US Nuclear Organisations Call On Congress To Honour Spent Fuel Disposal Obligations, Says NEI (News in Brief No.215, 27 October 2017)

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