Friday, January 13, 2006

Nuclear Waste Disposal

Feds Halt Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Project
12 January 2006

US Department of Energy (DOE) suspended design work on the national nuclear waste repository in Nevada after internal whistle-blowers reported more problems at the Yucca Mountain site. But officials with the DOE and project contractor Bechtel SAIC Co. LLC said work is continuing at the site that Congress and President Bush picked in 2002 to bury the nation's most radioactive waste. According to federal documents and government and nuclear industry officials, the problem was that Yucca management guidelines and databases are outdated. The guidelines are the rules that lay out in detail how scientists, engineers and analysts need to document their activities to comply with federal regulations and industry practices. Source: (Reliability 8.5)
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Comment: This is the latest of setbacks facing the national nuclear waste repository in Nevada. On 14 December 2005 the US Senate and House introduced the Spent Nuclear Fuel Security Act in identical bills that would allow nuclear waste to stay in containers at nuclear power plants versus moving it to Utah or Nevada with the federal government assuming legal liability. Recent setbacks include the project missing its license application deadline, congressional funding cuts and revelations that geologists may have falsified data. The government also is rewriting radiation safety rules after a federal court threw out the first ones.


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