ANS Encourages Department of Energy, NRC to Move Forward on Licensing for Yucca Mountain Repository
Today’s announcement by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit is earning high marks from the American Nuclear Society (ANS). ANS has long supported timely completion of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of the Yucca Mountain license application.
Generation of electricity using nuclear energy produces wastes that require long-term isolation from the biosphere. Radioactive wastes decay over time to nonradioactive wastes; thus, safe disposal is based on isolation of high-level radioactive wastes until most of the radioactivity has decayed away. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the equivalent scientific advisory panels in every major country support geological disposal of such wastes as the preferred safe method for their ultimate disposal.
“A permanent repository is critical for the continued viability of the nuclear power industry,” says ANS President Donald R. Hoffman. “Whether or not Yucca Mountain is ultimately chosen as the permanent repository site, it is vital that the licensing process move forward based on merits and not politics.”
ANS supports the completion of the ongoing licensing process. ANS believes it is vital that the repository program be adequately funded. In order to ensure adequate funding, the program should be allowed to use the Nuclear Waste Fund, whose source is nuclear utility rate payers.
See also: Licensing of Yucca Mountain as a Geological Repository for Radioactive Wastes (ANS Position Statement ANS-80-2009)