Debate heats up over potential Interim Nuclear Waste Repository, as studies of Yucca Mountain continue


  • Randy Showstack


With spent nuclear fuel piling up at power plants around the United States, and with a potential permanent nuclear waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain not scheduled to accept waste until 11 years from now in the year 2010, the nuclear energy industry and many members of Congress have renewed their push to establish an interim repository at the adjacent Nevada Test Site of nuclear bombs.

At a sometimes contentious March 12 hearing to consider the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1999 (House Resolution 45) that would require an interim facility to begin accepting waste in 2003, bill cosponsor Rep. Jim Barton (R-Tex.) told Energy Secretary Bill Richardson that he preferred that Congress and the Clinton Administration negotiate rather than fight over the measure.