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Yucca Mountain geology

Graphics and presentation by Severiano del Castillo Galvan and Wesley Rand/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Videos by Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal, text by Keith Rogers/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Proposed disposal system for high-level radioactive waste

Yucca Mountain, located in Nevada’s Nye County, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, has been under consideration for construction of a permanent repository for highly radioactive spent fuel from the nation’s commercial and military nuclear reactors since 1978. In 1987, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to remove other potential sites from consideration. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy submitted a safety report and license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking approval to construct the repository within the volcanic ridge to permanently store 77,000 tons of waste. The project was defunded in 2010 under the Obama administration, which said a new strategy for disposing of high-level nuclear waste was needed. It was revived by President Donald Trump’s administration, which included $120 million in its 2018 budget to resume the licensing effort and for interim storage. Back to story