Estimated cost of Nevada nuke-waste dump soars
The total cost of dumping nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain repository will hit $96.2 billion, the Department of Energy estimated Tuesday. The estimate has jumped 38 percent, excluding inflation, since 2001. And it assumes no new construction of nuclear reactors; to put that in perspective, John McCain is pushing for the U.S. to build up to 45 new nuclear plants by 2030. The Energy Department ambitiously assumes that Yucca will begin accepting waste in 2020, continue through 2070, and close in 2113. It also estimates that the site could take in as much as 122,000 tons of nuclear waste, even though Congress has limited Yucca’s capacity to 77,000 tons. About 64,000 tons of used reactor fuel is already chillin’ at 121 temporary sites across the U.S., and more than 2,000 tons are added each year.