The DOE was charging the electric utilities a 1 mill/MWH nuclear generation fee to pay for Yucca. Literally billions of ratepayer dollars were poured into their coffers during that era. The utility companies that own both coal and nuclear facilities should get together and decide what day/hour/second to shut them all down in unison...hopefully either the coldest or hottest day of the year....and leave them down till the govt. crap ceases. They’re evil anyway so just shut em all down at once.
It is maddening to see this administration put up obstacles that will affect so many aspects of our future.
Now the Democrats control the executive branch.
Also, the good hardworking capitalists in the real estate industry, and the good Judeo-Christian conservative California pundits convinced people that moving out of high-cost liberal California and out to Las Vegas would be a great idea.
Unfortunately, a lot of the people that moved out there were NIMBY wimps who lobbied their congresscritters to oppose Yucca.
As Milton Friedman warned us: unintended consequences are a bitch.
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Ah the ole bugaboo of Nevada democrats. Nimby nimby.
I say put the waste under Reid’s house, maybe he’ll mutate into someone less annoying.
Already in 1999 Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) suggested that the spent fuel should be transmuted. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/1999/aug/06/domenicis-plan-could-contain-yuccas-fate/ After transmutation the waste needs to be stored some 300 years instead of 100 000 years. The main reason for the long time is the transuraniums. http://www.ornl.gov/~webworks/cpr/pres/109121_.pdf In 1999 the best solution was assumed to be accelerator transmutation of the waste, but nowadays a better technology is just to burn the waste in a reactor. It could be an http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor using metal as coolant or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor using salt.
This is an excellent short history of Yucca Mountain and the challenge of nuclear waste storage, at least the early parts and the later parts. However, it completely leaves out what occurred in the 90’s.
The bottom line of that is that Congress tasked the President and executive to accomplish this goal; Clinton and his DoE secretary booted that responsibility in the mid-90s, under pressure of Reid and a few others in Congress. Clinton’s failure to lead at that time brought the problem to Bush’s desk, and Reid just about single-handedly brought the waste of billions of dollars to its conclusion by stalling and obfuscating the project.
If Clinton had taken seriously the responsibility that Congress had handed the executive a decade earlier, and forced his Energy Secretary to get the project underway, we would have had Yucca Mt commissioned by the middle of Bush’s term.