Yucca-ing It Up
Following 14 years of study that cost $4.5 billion, the Energy Department yesterday formally recommended that Nevada’s Yucca Mountain become the country’s permanent storage site for highly radioactive nuclear waste from power plants and weapons factories. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said the science showed that Yucca Mountain would be a secure home for the waste. Nevada politicians, environmentalists, and Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), among others, disagree. They point to a draft study completed last fall by a congressional watchdog agency that summed up the feds’ effort to study the Yucca site as "a failed scientific process." If Abraham’s recommendation is approved by President Bush but vetoed by Nevada Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn, the matter will go before Congress, where it’s unclear what the outcome would be.