Not another Wall Street bailout, but the reversal of a 20-year plan:
Controversy Over Yucca Mountain May Be Ending

More than two decades after Yucca Mountain in Nevada was selected to be the national nuclear waste repository, the controversial proposal may finally be put to rest by the Obama administration.

In keeping with a pledge President Obama made during the campaign, the budget released last week cuts off almost all funding for creating a permanent burial site for a large portion of the nation’s radioactive nuclear waste at the site in the Nevada desert. Congress selected the location in 1987 and reaffirmed the choice in 2002. About $7.7 billion has been sunk into the project since its inception.

“Yucca Mountain is not an option, and the budget clearly reflects that,” Stephanie Mueller, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy, said yesterday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), a staunch opponent of the Yucca project, called the Obama action “our most significant victory to date in our battle to protect Nevada from becoming the country’s toxic wasteland.”

What does the President plan to do with the nuclear waste that is in temporary sites now?

“That’s a great question,” said Geoffrey H. Fettus, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The budget provides no answers as to what the administration proposes to do with the approximately 57,700 tons of nuclear waste at more than 100 temporary sites around the country, or with the approximately 2,000 tons generated each year by nuclear power plants. The Yucca site was designed specifically to handle spent fuel rods from the nation’s 103 nuclear generators.

“The new administration is starting the process of finding a new strategy for nuclear waste,” Mueller said.

He’s keeping a campaign promise.  He said “he’ll find safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste.  In Democratic debate earlier this year, he said, “We should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix.”   He didn’t say anything about expanding the use of nuclear power; that was Senator McCain.  Anyone voting for Obama who thought reducing our carbon footprint included nuclear power made a big mistake.

I thought he was supposed to be cutting government waste.  Junking a $7.7 billion project is an odd way to do it.

H/T  Green Hell

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