But anyone who’s looked at the U.S. Department of Energy’s management of the project — not to mention Yucca’s status as a perpetual political football in Washington — recognizes that a one-size-fits all, bureaucrat-administered “answer” to the nuclear industry’s problem of radioactive leftovers is profoundly unwise.
More than $15 billion in ratepayer revenue has been spent on Yucca, but not one fuel rod has made its way to Nevada. (The Department of Energy was supposed to start filling the repository in 1998.)
The good news is that there’s a growing awareness that other options should be pursued. (Some of us figured that out long ago.) There’s plenty of money left in the Nuclear Waste Fund, and every penny should be spent on alternatives to Yucca.
As one element of a broader effort to privatize high-level nuclear waste, Holtec’s safe, secure storage could help drive a stake through the heart of the Yucca boondoggle. Best of all, it would be real, sustainable economic development for New Mexico — based not on another infusion of federal cash, but a market-oriented response to epic-level D.C. incompetence.