Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Commercial Nuclear Waste: Effects of a Termination of the Yucca Mountain Repository Program and Lessons Learned -- GAO

This report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO-11-229), dated April 2011, finds that "terminating the Yucca Mountain repository program could bring benefits, such as allowing DOE to search for a more acceptable alternative, which
could help avoid the costly delays experienced by Yucca Mountain. However,
there is no guarantee that a more acceptable or less costly alternative will be
identified; termination could instead restart a costly and time-consuming
process to find and develop an alternative permanent solution. It would also
likely prolong the need for interim storage of spent nuclear fuel at reactor
sites, which would have financial and other impacts. For example, the federal
government bears part of the storage costs as a result of industry lawsuits
over DOE’s failure to take custody of commercial spent nuclear fuel in 1998,
as required. These costs exceed $15.4 billion and could grow by an additional
$500 million a year after 2020."

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