nuke dump to top $90 billion

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

WASHINGTON (AP) — Turns out, it’s going to cost taxpayers $32 billion more than first thought to open and operate the nation’s first nuclear waste dump. — made public Tuesday — is that the facility will cost over $90 billion. It’s the first official estimate since 2001, when the figure was $58 billion.
 
Already, some 64,000 tons of radioactive spent fuel rods are stored at commercial reactor sites in 33 states, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Most of it is stored in vault-like pools while some has been moved into dry-cask storage, where Nevada lawmakers, who oppose Yucca Mountain, would like it to stay.
 
Commercial nuclear power plants now produce some 20 percent of U.S. electricity, but concern about waste disposal has hampered the industry’s growth.
 
Yucca Mountain was originally supposed to open in 1998 but has been beset by lawsuits and political and scientific controversies. The best-possible opening date is now 2020,  Sproat told lawmakers at an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.
 
The Energy Department did succeed in submitting a required construction license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last month. The commission has up to four years to decide whether to approve it — but that timeline, too, is dependent on congressionally approved budgets.
 
Read full By ERICA WERNER (AP)
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