The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository has been in development for about 25 years as a location to store spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. “Has been”, past tense, because the Obama Administration decided to terminate the program, which had already cost billions of dollars, and would expose the US to another $11 billion in contracted costs, since it was obligated to come up with a way to handle the nuclear waste storage problem. The termination was included in the FY2011 budget.
“What budget” you ask? Excellent question — as most politics junkies know, there hasn’t been a budget passed in the last two-plus years. That, however, didn’t stop Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko from directing the staff to stop work on the studies in the budget.
Today, the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing “The NRC Inspector General Report on the ‘NRC Chairman’s Unilateral Decision to Terminate NRC’s Review of the DOE Yucca Mountain Repository License Application’”. Pajamas Media has obtained copies of the Inspector General’s report, which can now be found on the House website.
I’ll have more detail tonight or tomorrow, but the conclusions basically suggest that Chairman Jaczko effectively overruled the rest of the Commission to end consideration of the Yucca Mountain project before the final report required by law could be completed, and withheld information from the other Commissioners.
Have a look at the reports, this should be interesting reading.