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January 29, 2015 — NRC Publishes Final Two Volumes of Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has published volumes two and five of its safety evaluation report on the geologic high-level nuclear waste repository proposed for Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Publication of these volumes completes the technical safety review of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain application. The safety evaluation report includes the staff's recommendation that the Commission should not authorize construction of the repository because DOE has not met certain land and water rights requirements identified in Volume 4, published in December, and a supplement to DOE's environmental impact statement has not yet been completed — The NRC

January 27, 2015 — How GOP control in D.C. affects us in Nevada — A new Congress means another attempt to store the nation's nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., says he will introduce a bill to get the ball rolling on creating a nuclear repository at Yucca, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas. What's different this time is that Republicans control Congress — Las Vegas Sun

January 27, 2015 — Experts discuss nuclear waste impasse America's impasse over the storage of highly radioactive waste will take center stage at a panel discussion and public forum Tuesday night in San Juan Capistrano. The storage of spent nuclear fuel has moved to the forefront of safety concerns at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station since the twin-reactor plant was retired in 2013 after a botched steam generator replacement project —

Getty Images January 27, 2015 — [Opinion – Rep. Lamar Smith] Time for US to live up to its nuclear potential — Reliable, affordable energy is the foundation of our nation's economy. America is blessed with abundant natural resources. Our energy history is full of new technologies displacing old ones. Coal led the industrial revolution in the United States. Thomas Edison's electric lightbulb displaced candles and kerosene lamps. Following World War II, nuclear science catapulted America to superpower status . . . But now, 60 years after the ribbon was cut on the first nuclear reactor, the U.S. has not lived up to its potential. Political meddling, costly red tape and a shifting regulatory landscape have jeopardized America's energy security — The

Photo_ January 20, 2015 — Vermont Yankee's long road to retirement —Officials with Entergy announced last week that all of the fuel from Vermont Yankee has been removed from the reactor and placed in the spent fuel pool following the closure of the plant last month. The announcement signals the beginning of what is expected to be a lengthy decommissioning process —

January 10, 2015 — Nuclear waste storage creates headaches for all — RED WING — When Ron Johnson looks east, the twin towers of the Prairie Island nuclear plant dominate the skyline. It's a constant reminder of a looming threat to his people —

January 07, 2015 — Nuclear waste storage issues can be addressed — When the Tennessee Valley Authority suspended construction of the Watts Bar 2 nuclear plant in 1985, the nuclear industry worried it might have a contagious effect on the policies of other electric utilities. In 2008, however, Southern Co. and South Carolina Electric & Gas each announced plans to build two new nuclear power plants, and other utilities have applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for construction and operating licenses to add new reactors —

January 02, 2015 — Pilgrim nuclear plant expands waste storage to concrete casks — Massachusetts’s only nuclear power plant said Friday that it would begin packing its spent fuel in super-tough concrete-and-steel containers. Previously, all of the nuclear reactor fuel rods from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth were submerged in a deep pool of water, which is running out of space. The new containers, called casks, are designed to hold the nuclear reactor’s radioactive materials until the federal government selects a disposal site for nuclear waste —


February 26, 2015 — YUCCA MOUNTAIN: DOE, Pentagon considering new uses for Nev. site –lawmakers — House Republicans say two federal agencies are planning to use the remote Yucca Mountain site in southern Nevada for activities other than its congressionally authorized use as a repository for spent fuel from nuclear reactors. "We have learned that officials from the Department of Energy and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) have discussed the possibility of conducting activities at or near the Yucca Mountain site that are not related to the statutorily required uses for the site and adjacent lands," three senior House Republicans wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz —

February 19, 2015 — Conservation bill could block Yucca Rail Route, but prospects shaky — Though its sponsors insist it wasn't their intent, a Nevada lands bill pending in Congress could throw up another roadblock to a Yucca Mountain Project. The legislation, introduced last year by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., would restrict mining and energy exploration on more than 800,000 acres of federal land in two lonesome valleys straddling Lincoln and Nye counties. The Senate minority leader has said he wants to withdraw the land in Garden and Coal valleys to protect “City,” noted artist Michael Heizer’s sprawling earth sculptor roughly the size of the National Mall. Supporters of the bill want a national monument dedicated to “City,” and to the pristine basin–and–range landscape around it — RJ.COM

February 17, 2015 — NUCLEAR POLICY: NRC will complete environmental review of Yucca project — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission intends to complete an environmental review of the contentious waste repository under Yucca Mountain in Nevada because the Energy Department has refused to do so, the NRC's chairman said today . . .“We have the funds that are left over from the carryover for high-level waste, will cover the preparation of the supplemental [environmental impact statement].” —

February, 2015 — Here's how the 2016 fiscal budget impacts [Yucca Mountain] Nevada . . . The Department of Energy has proposed $108 million for nuclear waste research, according to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. There is no money proposed for the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada, as Moniz said the Obama administration remains committed to finding another site to bury nuclear waste —

February 12, 2015 — Reid spokeswoman tells lawmaker don't bother trying to revive Yucca — WASHINGTON —An Illinois congressman says he is planning to revisit Yucca Mountain this year as part of an effort to revive the Nevada site for nuclear waste disposal. Republican Rep. John Shimkus and two other members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee briefly toured Yucca Mountain in April 2011, shortly after the proposed repository area was shut down by the Department of Energy. Shimkus, chairman of the House environment and the economy subcommittee, told Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at a budget hearing Wednesday he was planning to go back —

February 08, 2015 — Back to Yucca Mountain [Opinion - Washington Post] THE COUNTRY'S nuclear power plants have produced massive amounts of reliable electricity for decades while emitting negligible amounts of carbon dioxide. The big drawback is the more than 70,000 tons of radioactive spent fuel U.S. nuclear facilities have piled up — with 2,000 more tons added to the total every year. A report the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released in late January underscores that this problem is solvable — if only Congress and the White House would stick to a plan.

February 06, 2015 — Dallas company seeks to store nation’s spent nuclear fuel at West Texas site — LUBBOCK:A Dallas-based company that handles low-level radioactive waste is taking the first step toward making a West Texas facility the first interim storage site for high-level nuclear waste from around the country. Waste Control Specialists on Friday notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the company’s plan to seek a license to build a facility in rural Andrews County that would store spent fuel rods from power plants for as long as 100 years. The location is about 350 miles west of Dallas and 120 miles south of Lubbock, along Texas’ border with New Mexico — AP
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February 05, 2015 — The Next Keystone: Now that the GOP has taken the pipeline fight as far as it can, where to next? Nevada . . . But with the Keystone fight losing steam, another high-profile energy battle is bubbling back up: the decades–old debate over Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, the proposed site of a massive federal repository for America’s nuclear waste. The project, which dates back to the Reagan administration . . .

February 05, 2015 — New Senate chairman vows push on nuke waste, Yucca — WASHINGTON: The new chairman of a Senate energy panel on Thursday announced he plans to focus on nuclear energy this year, including a bid to end an impasse on nuclear waste created when the Yucca Mountain repository was terminated. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told a nuclear industry audience he would convene a series of hearings on nuclear power as the new leader of the Senate energy and water subcommittee — By STEVE TETREAULT STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREA


March 31, 2015 — [Nevada] GOP budget plan would cut funds to fight Yucca Mountain — CARSON CITY: A group of Republican Assembly members who unveiled a no–new–tax budget wants Nevada to stop fighting a high–level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The group is calling for some major cuts to state programs to balance the budget and wants to eliminate millions of dollars earmarked to fight the project, including $5 million that would go to the Attorney General’s Office. Gov. Brian Sandoval opposes the cuts — Las Vegas Sun

March 28, 2015 — EDITORIAL: Hey, Washington, make us an offer we can't refuse. If the government is serious about crafting a new national nuclear waste solution that involves asking states to accept and store dangerous military and commercial radioactive material, the least it can do is deliver a pitch to the state it tried to force the waste upon all those years ago —LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

March 29, 2015 — SUN EDITORIAL: Congressmen's willingness to cash in on Yucca Mountain endangers Nevadans — Two of our congressmen, who are the least experienced in our Capitol Hill delegation, have much to learn when it comes to watching out for the safety, welfare and economic security of Nevadans. Cresent Hardy and Mark Amodei, a pair of Republicans, say they'd want Nevada to cash in on the opening of Yucca Mountain as the final resting place for highly radioactive nuclear waste if experts are convinced it would be safe. If the feds and the nuclear power industry really want control of Yucca Mountain, at least they can throw some money our way – maybe to help fund education or improve our public infrastructure — Las Vegas Sun

March 27, 2015 — Yucca Site Seen Gaining in Opponent Reid's 2016 Senate Departure — The departure of Harry Reid after 2016 may boost chances to revive the moribund Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada, a project the Senate minority leader has spent his career opposing. Reid's announcement Friday that he doesn't plan to seek re-election as Nevada's senator is "constructive for Yucca," Christi Tezak, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners, said in an e-mail — Bloomberg

March 25, 2015 — Radioactive politics: Inside the renewed push to site nuclear waste at Yucca MountainA bipartisan coalition has a new bill aimed at moving the issue forward — When Republicans took control of the Senate last November, nuclear energy supporters were hopeful the new leadership would quickly address some longstanding issues for their industry. Now it appears they are getting their wish. For decades, one of the biggest obstacles for nuclear energy growth in the United States has been the absence of a radioactive waste storage solution, and in recent weeks Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the new Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, has renewed the push to license the controversial Yucca Mountain as a permanent waste repository —, By Herman K. Trabish [Print PDF]

President Barack Obama (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque,file) March 25, 2015 — Obama shifts gears on nuclear waste; Yucca impact uncertain — WASHINGTON:President Barack Obama shifted gears Tuesday on nuclear waste in a move that could put even more distance between his administration and the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Obama signed a memorandum that puts the Department of Energy on a path to develop separate repositories for waste produced at nuclear power plants and for radioactive material generated by the government's Cold War pursuit of atomic weapons. The "de-commingling" of civilian and defense nuclear waste reverses a policy set in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan, and that guided blueprints for the once–favored but now mothballed Yucca site, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas [Print PDF] — By STEVE TETREAULT LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL WASHINGTON BUREAU

March 25, 2015 — Yucca Mountain debate rekindled — WASHINGTON: Washington is suddenly awash again in talk about the sticky problem of nuclear waste disposal, and what to do about the Yucca Mountain site . . . But the issue received additional attention this week with the introduction of bipartisan legislation in the Senate that outlines a plan for disposing of spent nuclear fuel and military waste, and a speech by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz describing a shift in the Obama administration's approach to the issue — Bill Theobald, USA Today [Print - PDF]

March 25, 2015 — Yucca Mountain: Despite Hardy comments, sides as entrenched as ever — In the wake of a controversial opinion piece by Nevada's newest member of Congress calling for a conversation on Yucca Mountain, it may seem as if the zombie project has risen from the dead. Photo - Las Vegas SunBut the op-ed really has all sides digging in their heels. Rep. Cresent Hardy, a Republican whose district covers Yucca Mountain sits, wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday that "we should at least be up for an honest conversation" about the project's plausibility and what it could bring to Nevada — Las Vegas Sun [Print]

March 24, 2015 — Senate Coalition Introduces Comprehensive Nuclear Waste Legislation — Washington: US. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to safeguard and permanently dispose of the nation's stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel, which are currently accumulating at separate sites across the country — [Print PDF – 2 Pages]

March 22, 2015 — WASHINGTON: Hardy calls for Nevada to explore options on Yucca — Nevada should open an "honest discussion" with the federal government over burying nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain to determine if citizens might want it and what benefits the state might obtain for hosting it, according to Rep. Cresent Hardy . . . "The idea that Nevada is losing big federal dollars by opposing the Yucca Mountain project is nothing more than nuclear industry and (Department of Energy) propaganda aimed at changing public opinion about the project," Bob Loux, a former director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, said in 1992 — By STEVE TETREAULT REVIEW-JOURNAL WASHINGTON BUREAU

March 20, 2015 — Q &A: Shimkus to Move Bills on Yucca, Coal Ash, TSCA . . . I know I have got some enemies in the state of Nevada, but I have some friends. I've been to Yucca Mountain twice–once when it was an operating Department of Energy facility and once when it was closed. And, I'm telling you, Nevada was receiving a lot more revenue when it was open than when it was closed —

March 18, 2015 — Hardy, Amodei to join Yucca Mountain tour amid push to reopen nuclear site — WASHINGTON – Two members of Congress from Nevada are reserving seats on the tour that will take a group of lawmakers to Yucca Mountain next month, a visit its organizer hopes will spark new interest in the shuttered nuclear waste site —

Photo by Las Vegas Review Journal March 17, 2015 — Yucca Mountain tour set for April: WASHINGTON – Leaders of a House subcommittee have set an April 9 tour of Yucca Mountain, part of a campaign to draw new attention to the mothballed Nevada nuclear waste site. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chairman of the House environment and the economy subcommittee, and Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., the panel's ranking Democrat, have issued an invitation for other panel members to join the trip. According to the March 11 letter viewed Tuesday, the Department of Energy "will provide a comprehensive tour" of Yucca Mountain, including an examination of research that was conducted there, a discussion of the site's infrastructure and a trek to the top of the mountain "for a 360-degree view of the surrounding area for perspective of the project's setting" in the remote desert — By STEVE TETREAULT STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU

March 15, 2015 — NRC comes up with $2 million for Yucca groundwater study — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is planning two public hearings in Nevada this fall as it freshens up an environmental study of groundwater at Yucca Mountain. The agency is eyeing September for the public sessions, a few weeks after a report draft is expected to be completed — Las Vegas Review Journal

March 12, 2015 — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notified the public today the NRC staff will prepare a supplement to the Department of Energy's environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. In today's Federal Register notice, the NRC staff explains the decision to supplement the EIS that DOE submitted in 2008. During its review, the NRC staff found the EIS did not adequately address all of the repository-related effects on groundwater, or from surface discharges of groundwater. In 2013, the Commission asked DOE to prepare a supplement. Instead, DOE updated its analysis of potential groundwater impacts after closure of a repository at the site, and in February 2015 the Commission directed the NRC staff to prepare the supplement. The NRC staff will use the DOE analysis in preparing the supplement — The NRC

March 10, 2015 — New bill revives Nevada veto over nuke waste at Yucca Mountain — WASHINGTON – A bill introduced Tuesday by four Nevada lawmakers would give the state new veto power over storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. The legislation would require the governor, affected local governments and affected tribes to sign off before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission could authorize construction of a nuclear waste repository. The "Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act" was written to apply to any state. But Nevada has been at the forefront as pro-Yucca lawmakers have stepped up efforts to revive the Yucca Mountain program terminated in 2010 by the Obama administration —

March 07, 2015 — Preparing for a renewed battle to keep Yucca Mountain nuke-free — In Nevada, nuclear waste and the possibility of storing it in Yucca Mountain are never far from state leaders' minds. But it's a niche issue for the rest of the nation.

Gone are the days of Bonnie Raitt concerts calling for a ban on all nuclear energy, a passionate response to a 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island reactor in Pennsylvania — Las Vegas Sun

March 02, 2015 — Defense agency visited Yucca, says no intention to use site — WASHINGTON – Officials from a Pentagon agency toured the Yucca Mountain’s tunnels last month but do not intend to work at the Nevada site, a spokesman said Monday. A small group from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency visited Yucca on Feb. 17, confirmed Daniel Gaffney, the agency’s spokesman. He described it as a one-time deal. “(O)fficials did tour the facility, just as they tour many (Energy Department) facilities, but it was not with the intent to conduct work at the Yucca Mountain site,”Gaffney said —


April 30, 2015 — Nevadans take swings at Yucca funding, come up empty — WASHINGTON —Nevada lawmakers took two swings Thursday to try to knock out new funding for nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain and came up empty. Republican Rep. Joe Heck and Democratic Rep. Dina Titus took slightly different approaches. But both bids to remove or divert $150 million in Yucca funds from a 2016 Department of Energy spending bill were killed by voice vote. The development came as little surprise. The Nevada nuclear waste site historically has enjoyed 3–to–1 support in the House apart from Silver State lawmakers and no more than a hundred or so environmental–minded allies —

April 30, 2015 — Prepared Remarks of NRC Chairman Stephen G. Burns United States Energy Association Meeting, National Press Club — NRC [Related Information]

April 22, 2015 — House budget bill covers new national park, Yucca Mountain . . . The House legislation would provide $150 million to support a nuclear waste repository at Yucca, plus some additional money for licensing work for the proposed repository. President Obama’s budget request did not support the repository. Instead, the administration supported a plan to find a new site for a national nuclear waste repository that would have the support of local and state officials —

April 17, 2015 — A plan to deal with nuclear waste Washington Post — Editorial Board — THE NATION'S nuclear waste strategy is — well, actually, the nation doesn't have much of a nuclear waste strategy. Nearly 30 years ago, Congress deemed Yucca Mountain, Nev., to be the site of a permanent geological depository for the thousands of tons of spent fuel and other radioactive wastes produced in nuclear power stations and other industrial facilities. Since then, intense politicking has undercut that plan, still at best many years away from realization. Meantime, the waste keeps piling up, stored next to operating and decommissioned nuclear power plants. A bipartisan Senate bill, introduced last month by Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), proposes to bring a little more order to the mess —

April 17, 2015 — Yucca supporters launch new bid . . . A GOP-controlled House subcommittee inserted $200 million into an energy spending bill to move the Yucca program out of mothballs. The action was the first step in a prolonged appropriations process that will require further House votes, and also some in the Senate — By Steve Tetreault, Special to the Pahrump Valley Times

Sam Morris/Las Vegas Review-Journal April 15, 2015 — GOP proposes more money to revive frozen Yucca Mountain project — WASHINGTON: With Republicans now in charge on both sides of Capitol Hill, lawmakers who want a new life for the Yucca Mountain Project launched their latest bid on Wednesday to fund the Nevada nuclear waste site. A GOP–controlled House subcommittee inserted $200 million into an energy spending bill to move the Yucca program out of mothballs.

The action was the first step in a prolonged appropriations process that will require further House votes, and also some in the Senate —
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April 12, 2015 — YUCCA MOUNTAIN: Unsafe site won't ever be safe for nuclear wasteBy BRIAN SANDOVAL and RICHARD BRYAN, SPECIAL TO THE REVIEW-JOURNAL — Nevada Rep. Cresent Hardy, who joined a pro–Yucca Mountain congressional site visit this past week, recently asked the question, "Is there a scenario in which Nevadans would actually welcome nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain?" ("Time for Nevada to talk Yucca Mountain," March 22 Review-Journal). The answer to that question is an emphatic "no" for one simple yet unavoidable reason: Because Yucca Mountain is an unsafe place for storing or disposing deadly nuclear waste and was selected for purely political reasons having nothing to do with science or suitability. There is nothing for state officials to negotiate. In fact, our leaders would be remiss in their duty to protect the public and the environment to entertain the notion that any amount of dollars could possibly compensate for likely grievous and lethal harm from siting a facility in such an unsafe location as Yucca Mountain —

April 09, 2015 — Congressmen get up-close look at controversial Yucca dumpsite — Six congressmen, including two from Nevada, made the long trek 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas today to visit Yucca Mountain for a fact-finding trip, in the process stirring up a political controversy that had been largely dormant since the site was mothballed in 2009 — Las Vegas Sun

April 09, 2015 — Congress group tours Yucca Mountain, stalled Nevada site of proposed nuclear waste dump — MERCURY, Nev. Six members of Congress toured a dusty tunnel and stood atop Yucca Mountain on Thursday during a trip led by a colleague who said the non–descript rocky ridge in the wind–swept desert outside Las Vegas would be a good place to entomb highly radioactive waste piling up at reactors around the country. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., head of an energy and commerce subcommittee, invoked the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act and a declaration by Congress in 2002 that the wind–swept rocky ridge 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas was suitable for the task. 'We just have to move the process forward,' he said — AP
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April 08, 2015 — Heller makes request to doe for nevada rep on Yucca Mountain tour — WASHINGTON: A scuffle over the guest list has added a last–minute twist to plans by a group of congressmen to visit Yucca Mountain, the once-touted Nevada site for nuclear waste now fenced off and empty after being terminated by President Barack Obama. As a half dozen lawmakers and other federal officials prepared to arrive in Las Vegas in advance of the Thursday tour, Sen. Dean Heller stepped in to urge that the state of Nevada be allowed to send along one of its consultants. Going to the top, Heller, R-Nev., lodged his request in a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz —

April 07, 2015 — Nevada rep turned down in bid to join Yucca tour — WASHINGTON:A Nevada bid to send a representative when members of Congress visit Yucca Mountain this week was turned down Monday by organizers who said there was no room on the tour of the nuclear waste site. The executive director of the state Agency for Nuclear Projects offered to have Steve Frishman, a geology consultant, accompany the half–dozen lawmakers scheduled to examine the site 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas on Thursday. In a letter Monday, trip leader Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., told agency director Robert Halstead there was no room on the tour being arranged through the Department of Energy. 'I am grateful for your generous offer of Mr. Frishman's time; however DOE's current itinerary for the tour is fully subscribed,' Shimkus wrote — By STEVE TETREAULT REVIEW-JOURNAL WASHINGTON BUREAU


May 29, 2015 — SANDOVAL FIRM: NOTHING TO NEGOTIATE ON YUCCA MOUNTAIN — Gov. Brian Sandoval says Yucca Mountain supporters in Congress should give it a rest, there's no way Nevada can be persuaded to accept a high-level nuclear waste site. "There is nothing for Nevada to negotiate," Sandoval told the Illinois congressman leading a charge to revive the project. Sandoval's message was in a letter dated May 21 and released Friday. It was to Republican Rep. John Shimkus, chairman of the House environment and the economy subcommittee, who is preparing legislation to spur a resurrection of the controversial program that the state battled until President Barack Obama put it in mothballs in 2010 — [Related Story — Nevada Democrat takes on Yucca Mountain push] May 19, 2015 — Yucca Mountain: Despite talk of revival, obstacles remain — WASHINGTON – Depending on the headline you choose, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project in Nevada has either been "revived," or it is "coming off the mat" or it's "back on the agenda." A flurry of activity in recent weeks has created the impression the Yucca project has come back to life. But a closer examination shows numerous hurdles remain that would take years to overcome before the facility 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas could start receiving the nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel being stored at more than 75 sites in 33 states —

May 19, 2015 — Yucca Mountain left out of Senate funding bill — Senate appropriators have introduced a $35 billion energy and water spending bill that would not fund a nuclear waste depository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. But the Republican senator behind the bill says he is not giving up on funding the project this session, floating the possibility that it could come to the floor as an amendmen — The Hill [More coverage — Roll Call] [ More Coverage — ]

May 16, 2015 — Washington state: Follow the law on nuclear waste repository — The nation will never have a repository for its high–level nuclear waste if the legal process for picking and licensing a site is disregarded, a senior attorney for Washington told a Congressional panel Friday. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy heard testimony Friday on the state of the nation’s management of high–level defense waste — the majority of it at the Hanford nuclear reservation —and used commercial nuclear fuel. Officials planned for the waste and fuel to be be sent to the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev. — [Related Story]

May 15, 2015 — NRDC Testifies in the House of Representatives on Nuclear Waste — Promptly at nine o'clock this morning, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) hit the gavel to start a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee titled "Update on the Status of Current Waste Management."
Related Information — Statement of Geoffrey H. Fettus, Senior Attorney NRDC Before the Congress of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy 2125 Rayburn House Office Building [17 Page PDF]

May 14, 2015 — GOP lawmaker pushes funding for Yucca Mountain approval — Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) challenged a federal regulator to agree with a simple proposition on Friday: If Congress funds the review process for a nuclear waste depository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, should regulators follow through on that process? — The Hill

May 12, 2015 — WATCH: The Yucca Mountain debate Reporters Molly K. Hooper and Tim Cama discuss the controversy surrounding the possibility of using Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a nuclear disposal waste site. — The Hill

May 11, 2015 — Yucca project could bring economic incentives to Nevada — Proponents of building a nuclear waste disposal site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain are hoping that offering certain incentives to the state could convince its leaders to support the project. While there are few specifics, lawmakers in Congress say that they're willing to discuss with Nevadans whether new infrastructure, schools, water rights or money could bring Yucca closer to being the country's first permanent repository for nuclear waste — The Hill

May 04, 2015 — [GUEST COLUMN] Breaking down nuclear waste as a 2–part issue — U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz recently announced two new decisions about how the nation plans to deal with nuclear waste. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is beginning a search for an interim facility to consolidate and store spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants until a permanent waste repository becomes available. It is now planning separate repositories for this commercial waste and the waste from the military's nuclear weapons production instead of disposing of both in the same repository as originally intended — Las Vegas Sun [Print PDF]

May 01, 2015 — [OPINION] Yucca Mountain: some WIPP Incidents Lessons — In July 2002, the U.S. Senate approved the development of Yucca Mountain as a repository to receive spent radioactive fuel held at various nuclear producing sites. But the Administration cut the funding in Feb. 2010 for Department Of Energy (DOE) to pursue its application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) thus stopping the project. Through budget, Sen. Reid had managed to stop Yucca mountain. . . . Irrespective of the reason for Sen. Reid to stop licensing of Yucca mountain, in view of the incident at WIPP, we should relook at all the studies that have been conducted before NRC considers Yucca mountain application —


June 24, 2015 — NUCLEAR WASTE: Appropriations impasse poses hurdle for Yucca Mountain backers — The Senate's appropriations standoff may cause some collateral damage to congressional efforts to revive Yucca Mountain as the resting place for high–level nuclear waste. While the House–passed Energy and Water Development spending bill contains $150 million in funding for Yucca Mountain in fiscal 2016, the Senate's $35.4 billion version doesn't include additional funds for the site, which the Obama administration opposes —

June 21, 2015 — Guy W. Farmer: Is Yucca Mountain dead? — Is the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste suppository — excuse me, repository — really dead? Or is it still on life support? Those were the questions USA Today attempted to answer in a recent article headlined, "Yucca Mountain Lurches Back." So let's examine the current status of this highly toxic project. According to the national newspaper, the nuclear waste storage project "has either been 'revived,' or it's 'coming off the mat,' or it's back on the agenda." I'll give you yet another option: It's still dead or dying — Nevada Appeal

June 19, 2015 — Culberson County Supports Nuclear Waste Plan, Judge Says — Though he said he is not prepared either to "rubber stamp" the proposal or to "veto it immediately," Culberson County Judge Carlos Urias said Monday (June 15) that he believes a majority of elected officials and county residents support a plan to make the county the destination for the nation's spent nuclear fuel —

Las Vegas Review Journal June 17, 2015 — New Yucca Mountain plan surfaces in Congress — WASHINGTON: A proposal that surfaced in Congress this week aims to spur a revival of the Yucca Mountain project, providing necessary land and water rights to build out the site if federal officials find that nuclear waste can be buried safely inside. No member of Congress yet has stepped forward to take authorship of the proposal. A one–page summary of key provisions was reported Tuesday by Environment& Energy Publishing and later confirmed by the Las Vegas Review–Journal. Sources said limited copies of the legislation itself have been shared on Capitol Hill and at the Department of Energy. Plans for House hearings were tentatively eyed for next week but have been postponed until later this summer — Las Vegas Review Journal
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June 17, 2015 — Two steps forward on US nuclear waste storage Tracing the U.S. government's development path for a long-term used nuclear fuel storage solution looks more like a stumbling stagger than a focused beeline, but with just two steps, the country now has a clear line of sight to meaningful progress. The $27 billion stagger — [Download PDF]

June 11, 2015 — How safe is safe enough? Half-measures and half-lives —

July August 03, 2015 — Industry push on Yucca Mountain troubles allies — WASHINGTON – The nuclear industry is adopting a more aggressive stance on Yucca Mountain, a shift that may complicate efforts to reach a compromise on the thorny issue of high-level radioactive waste. A list of "legislative principles" proposed by the Nuclear Energy Institute is just the latest twist as lawmakers debating nuclear waste policy try to determine a role, if any, for the mothballed Nevada site — Las Vegas Review Journal
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July 23, 2015 — Reid, Heller introduce bill creating more Yucca hurdles — In his final months in office, Senate Democrat Minority Leader Harry Reid is doubling down on his opposition to a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain — and he's reaching across the aisle to enlist the support of Nevada's Republican senator to do it. Reid and Heller have introduced a bill, S. 1825, that would prevent the federal Department of Energy from making payments for transporting nuclear waste through Nevada without receiving the consent of the governor, local officials and tribal leaders. It's a companion to another recent bill the two are working on that would require similar sign–offs for the construction of a nuclear repository at the long–controversial site — Las Vegas Sun

July 17, 2015 — The Plan for Storing US Nuclear Waste Just Hit a Roadblock — AMERICA'S FAVORITE PROBLEM to ignore — what to do with radioactive waste — just got worse. Since 1987, the grand (and controversial) idea was to put it all in one place, a series of tunnels deep below Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Well, last week America got three new national monuments, including the 704,000 acres of the Basin and Range National Monument. And guess what? The train that was supposed to carry all that nuclear guck to Yucca Mountain runs right through it. "It's another nail in the coffin for Yucca Mountain," says Timothy Frazier, a former Department of Energy official who now works on nuclear waste for the Bipartisan Policy Center. "It certainly adds time, and would require more money to resolve." —

July 11, 2015 — Why new national monument could derail plans for nuke dump at Yucca President Barack Obama's designation Friday of a portion of rural Nevada as a national monument apparently creates a roadblock for a nuclear dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas at Yucca Mountain. "This is the final nail in the coffin,"said Robert Halstead, executive director of the state Agency for Nuclear Projects, regarding the Energy Department's plans to transport waste from Caliente to the dump via railroad. He said the proposed 300-mile route of the railroad would go through the newly created Basin and Range National Monument, which is 700,000 acres of mountains and valleys about two hours from Las Vegas that feature "rock art" dating back 4,000 years — Las Vegas Sun
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July 01, 2015 — Texas Weighs Waste — Nuclear waste is not popular in any neighborhood. In West Texas, there's a battle underway over a plan to create a above ground storage facility for high level waste. Its a bigger problem than West Texas - the nation's nuclear power plants are quickly running out of room to store the waste —


The crest of Yucca Mountain - by DOE August 30, 2015 — Is Yucca Mountain back on the table? — This month, a long-debated proposal for a controversial nuclear dumping site [view proposed design] took a small step forward. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released a report examining potential groundwater contamination from burying the toxic remnants of nuclear energy production under Yucca Mountain, in Nevada. The report found that leakage from the site, a desert ridge 100 miles west of Las Vegas, would likely have only small impacts on cancer rates or hereditary diseases in humans and minimal impacts on the downstream environment — High Country News [Print PDF]

August 29, 2015 — Nuclear waste Faff and fallout [The next president will have to decide what to do about radioactive waste] — AFTER the baking heat of a Virginia summer, the spent fuel pool at Surry Nuclear Power station, which sits on the James river in the south-east of the state, looks almost worth jumping into. That would be unwise. Some 25 feet below the surface of the clear blue water, the tops of radioactive fuel assemblies glisten — The Economist [Print PDF]

August 23, 2015 — Yucca Mountain repository hearings announced — WASHINGTON: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday announced two public meetings in Nevada to discuss the latest environmental report on the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. A Sept. 15 meeting is set for the Embassy Suites Convention Center at 3600 Paradise Road in Las Vegas. On Sept. 17, the commission will hear comments at the Amargosa Community Center, 821 E. Amargosa Farm Road, in Amargosa Valley. Both meetings will run from 7 to 9 p.m., the agency said. The agency is collecting public comment on the supplemental environmental report released this month on the proposed nuclear waste site 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas — Las Vegas Review Journal [Mobil Link]

August 20, 2015 — Supplement to the U.S. Department of Energy's Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, Draft Report For Comment (NUREG-2184) — The NRC

August 14, 2015 — State disagrees with Yucca Mountain study — LAS VEGAS: A key study in a series leading to licensing hearings for the long–stalled Yucca Mountain national nuclear waste dump in Nevada finds what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is calling a small chance that radioactive contamination could get into the environment. A Nevada state official said Friday he'll challenge the NRC findings about the proposed Yucca Mountain project on technical and legal grounds — AP [Print PDF]
[Related Information — Senator Harry’s Reid Statement On The NRC’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement For Yucca Mountain]

August 13, 2015 — NRC report says Yucca Mountain project wouldn't be much of a health risk — WASHINGTON: An environmental report issued Las Vegas Review JournalThursday threw another log on the fire over the controversial Yucca Mountain project. Staff at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in the draft study that a nuclear waste repository at the Nevada site would yield "only a negligible increase" in health risk from radioactive particles that might leak into groundwater. The study said the environmental impact from potential contaminants would be small compared to normal background radiation. The nuclear safety agency plans public hearings in Washington and Nevada next month on the draft.

The 173-page report, a supplement to an earlier Department of Energy study, triggered the latest scuffle between Yucca supporters and opponents —  [PDF]  [Mobil Link]

August 10, 2015 — Japan’s Yucca Mountain: Nuclear Reboot Raises Questions on Waste Storage — In the face of concerns about Japan’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and natural gas, the Abe Administration has been working to reboot segments of the nuclear energy program over the past year. According to World Nuclear News, the Kyushu Electric Power Company is expected to complete the restart of the Sendai 1 nuclear reactor this August, which will reintroduce nuclear power to Japan’s electric grid for the first time since 2013 —


Joe Kennedy, left, of the Timbisha Shoshone tribe, and Western Shoshone Ian Zabarte listen to a speaker on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, during a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel meeting in Las Vegas about the Yucca Mountain Project. Keith Rogers/Las Vegas Review-Journal September 26, 2015 — American Indians accuse NRC of 'environmental racism' The feds call it "environmental justice." Western Shoshones say it's really "environmental racism." Whatever words apply, a challenge by American Indian tribes on that subject in the latest Nuclear Regulatory Commission report for disposing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain could slam the brakes on the project. — Las Vegas Review Journal [Mobil Link]

September 16, 2015 — Debate resumes in Las Vegas about Nevada nuclear dump idea — LAS VEGAS: The debate resumed Tuesday in Nevada about the possibility of radioactive contamination of the underground water supply from a proposed national nuclear waste repository in the desert near where nuclear weapons tests were conducted for decades — AP

September 15, 2015 — Nevadans question report on Yucca health risks — The federal Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project that's been presumed dead for five years still has a pulse. And Nevadans for the most part are still fired up to keep it from rising from its ashes. About 80 people showed up Tuesday night at a public meeting to discuss a draft report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff — Las Vegas Review Journal [Print PDF] [Mobil Link]
Related Information — Gov. Sandoval Comment Letter to NRC regarding NUREG-2184 [2 Page PDF]

September 09, 2015 — NUCLEAR WASTE: DOE takes first steps toward a post-Yucca future — A Department of Energy team has begun crafting strategies for reaching out to communities that might accept and store nuclear waste. "The team is actively developing plans and performing technical analysis of various components of an integrated waste management system, as well as evaluating the Department's next steps in the consent-based siting process," a DOE spokesman confirmed in an email. The team was created as part of a plan outlined by the Obama administration two years ago . . .

September 08, 2015 — Nevada hires state's former Yucca attorney as consultant — CARSON CITY: The state Board of Examiners on Tuesday hired a former chief deputy attorney general under a $300,000 contract to continue Nevada's efforts to fight the location of a nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain. Marta Aams, who retired from the state attorney general's office at the end of July, will return to the office as a consultant earning $200 an hour to help stop the repository. The $300,000 is the maximum amount of the contract over two years. Adams had represented Nevada in all matters involving the controversial nuclear waste program since 1998 — Las Vegas Review Journal [Print PDF] [Mobil Link]

STEVE MARCUS - Las Vegas Sun September 07, 2015 — People who live closest to Yucca Mountain weigh in on whether to build nuclear waste dump — In her mobile home in the Timbisha Village in Death Valley, Pauline Esteves remembers the mushroom clouds and white light ripping across the eastern sky. A lifelong resident of the cracked desert, she had a front-row view of many of the 928 above–and below–ground nuclear blasts that cratered the earth at the Nevada Test Site. The explosions were her first connections to federal nuclear projects — but not her last. Today, she worries the federal government will place a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain — Las Vegas Sun [Mobil Link]

September 03, 2015 — DOE's trash is Nev. town's treasure — PAHRUMP, Nev. – The town museum displays federal government discards under fluorescent lighting in its back room. The collection of plastic models of nuclear fuel assemblies, yellowed maps and videos at the Pahrump Valley Museum tells the story of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project – under study since 1978, authorized by Congress in 1987 and kicked to the curb by the Obama administration in 2009. But some Pahrump civic leaders won't let the administration trash the project or its artifacts. They see Yucca Mountain – an approximate 60–mile desert drive from here — as an economic engine for this town of 36,000 people and financially strapped Nye County —


October 30, 2015 — Groups cry foul over possible nuke-waste routes — Much of the nation's spent nuclear fuel used to generate electricity might go through Grand Junction by road or by rail on its way to Yucca Mountain in Nevada, according to Nevada consultants hoping to fend off efforts to reconsider using the site —

October 28, 2015 — GOP explores way around Obama's nuclear waste decision — Republicans are looking for a side door to open the nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, after President Obama scrapped the project in his first term. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., ran an energy subcommittee hearing Wednesday on low-level nuclear waste, but wants the Department of Energy to broaden discussions it is having with Nevada to include opening a storage facility at Yucca for higher-level nuclear fuel waste from power plants — Washington Examiner

October 27, 2015 — Dump blasts feed concerns about Yucca Mountain — Yucca Mountain Project opponent Richard Bryan said Tuesday he was "stunned" when he watched a video of small explosions that followed more powerful ones Oct. 18 at a low-level nuclear waste dump near Beatty. He said explosions and fire at the now-closed, state-owned landfill at the US Ecology site that shut down a 140-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 95 for nearly 24 hours added to his concerns for federal plans to haul 77,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel assemblies and high-level waste to Yucca Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas — Las Vegas Review Journal

October 27, 2015 — Stop Fukushima Freeways launches campaign against Yucca Mountain —The U.S. has more than 70,000 tons of highly radioactive ‘spent” fuel rods being stored at nuclear plants across the nation, including at Florida Power& Light's plants in Miami-Dade and St. Lucie counties. With Congress considering reviving a plan to transport the nuclear waste to be stored in Nevada's Yucca Mountain, Tuesday a group of organizations launched a campaign called “Stop Fukushima Freeways.” —

October 22, 2015 — Jeb Bush, campaigning in Nevada, suggests Texas for potential nuclear dump — WASHINGTON – Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush suggested the dry, open spaces of New Mexico or his native Texas as a possible location for a permanent national nuclear waste dump, reviving a controversy that has percolated for years in the Lone Star State —

October 09, 2015 — Former Idaho governor sues U.S. Department of Energy over nuclear waste plan — Salmon, Idaho A former Idaho governor is suing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over its plan to ship spent fuel from out-of-state commercial nuclear reactors to a laboratory in the state, claiming the shipment could endanger drinking water. Former governor Cecil Andrus, who served four terms, has said that DOE is withholding crucial details about the plan because in its response to his Freedom of Information Act query, documents related to the proposal are mostly redacted. The lawsuit seeks a court order to make public the unredacted records —

October 09, 2015 — Rubio supports storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that Yucca Mountain should be the place to store the nation's high–level nuclear waste in the absence of a better alternative. The GOP presidential candidate from Florida visited with the Review–Journal editorial board Friday. He was on the second of three days of campaign events in Southern Nevada — Las Vegas Review Journal


November 20, 2015— Comments, State of Nevada: Yucca Mountain Supplement to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste — NUREG-2184, Docket ID NRC-2015-0051 [PDF 100 Pages]
Press Story — AP

November 19, 2015 — Nuclear Waste Peddlers Still Pushing Yucca Mountain Dump — Some Congressional Rep's -- carrying bags of money from the nuclear industry -- want to resurrect the cancelled Yucca Mountain dump project for high-level radioactive waste, 90 miles from Las Vegas. I've presented Yucca's shortcomings before, but Congress needs a refresher and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is taking public comments on Yucca's Draft Supplemental EIS until Nov. 20. — [Print PDF]

November 11, 2015 — Inyo Supervisors updated on Yucca Mountain repository — nyo County Supervisors Matt Kingsley and Jeff Griffiths spent a week in Washington, D.C. and came back with the news that the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste crypt may still be built in Nevada 17 miles from the county border over an aquifer that day lights in Death Valley near Tecopa/Shoshone —

November 10, 2015 — Eureka County Comments on Draft Supplement to EIS for Yucca Mountain Repository (NUREG-2184, August 2015) Docket ID NRC 20150051) (PDF - 3 pages) — Eureka County


December 23, 2015 — Invitation for Public Comment To Inform the Design of a Consent–Based Siting Process for Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal Facilities — The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) is implementing a consent–based siting process to establish an integrated waste management system to transport, store, and dispose of commercial spent nuclear fuel and high level defense radioactive waste. In a consent–based siting approach, DOE will work with communities, tribal governments and states across the country that express interest in hosting any of the facilities identified as part of an integrated waste management system. As part of this process, the Department wants public input on implementing this system. In order to solicit public feedback, DOE is submitting this Invitation for Public Comment (IPC). Through this IPC, we are requesting feedback from communities, states, Tribes, and other interested stakeholders on how to design a consent–based siting process. In addition, the Department intends to host a series of public meetings to engage communities and discuss the development of a consent–based approach to managing our nation’s nuclear waste — US DOE [Print PDF]

Photo by James Marvin Phelps December 21, 2015 — Finding Long-Term Solutions for Nuclear Waste — Today, the Department of Energy is taking a critical step toward the development of a consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities as part of a strategy for the long-term storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The launch of our consent-based siting initiative represents an important step toward addressing this nuclear waste management challenge, so that we can continue to benefit from nuclear technologies. Today’s step forward follows Secretary Moniz’s announcement in March 2015 that DOE would move forward with the development of a separate repository for defense waste — US DOE

Las Vegas Review Journal December 21, 2015 —Consent-based' siting process for nuclear waste started — WASHINGTON: With Yucca Mountain mothballed as a nuclear waste repository, the U.S. Energy Department on Monday launched a "consent-based" siting process to ensure that communities, tribes and states are comfortable with the location of future storage and disposal sites before they are constructed. Exactly how the process will work has not been determined. The Energy Department plans to flesh out the approach in the next year and is asking for public comment to make it "fair and effective" — Las Vegas Review Journal

December 18, 2015 — Reid keeps new Yucca Mountain funding at bay — WASHINGTON: Congress on Friday approved a massive spending bill for the fiscal year that included no new funding for Yucca Mountain to the delight of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The bill, which was approved 65-33, includes $1.1 trillion in funding needed to keep federal agencies functioning through the fiscal year but not a dime extra for the Department of Energy to spend on the Yucca program — Las Vegas Review Journal

December 11, 2015 — IRRADIATED: The hidden legacy of 70 years of atomic weaponry: At least 33,480 Americans dead — Will the nation's new nuclear age yield more unwanted fallout? — JACKSON, S.C. Byron Vaigneur watched as a brownish sludge containing plutonium broke through the wall of his office on Oct. 3, 1975, and began puddling four feet from his desk at the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina —

December 09, 2015 — State and county at odds over NRC report on Yucca — The State of Nevada and Nye County are on opposite sides over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission report that said a proposed nuclear waste repository about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas would present "only a negligible increase" in health risks from radionuclides that might leak into groundwater —

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