Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump inched forward Monday as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to formally review the feds’ license application for the site. It will likely take the NRC four years or so to peruse the Department of Energy’s 8,600-page application and decide whether to give Yucca the go-ahead. Attorneys for the state of Nevada, which is highly disinterested in housing 77,000 tons of radioactive waste, had petitioned the NRC to reject the license application. “The NRC’s decision puts nuclear politics over the health and safety of Nevada families,” says state Rep. Shelley Berkley (D). Despite being nowhere close to having official permission to open, the project has already cost nearly $14 billion. The total cost is currently estimated at $96.2 billion, and the repository will open no earlier — and likely later — than 2020.
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