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Yucca Mountain: Where Doing Nothing Costs a Fortune

Written By: John Hayward  |  Posted: Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

            Connoisseurs of government waste will find much to savor in the saga of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.  To summarize, the government spent years carefully determining that Yucca Mountain in Nevada would be the ideal place to bury spent nuclear fuel.  We may find a comparable site in another state someday, but there is none better.  To borrow a phrase from the global-warming crowd, the science was settled… but the politics was not. 

            A lot of Nevada voters didn't like the idea of having a huge nuclear waste dump in their state, no matter how safe or remote the location.  In order to cultivate their votes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and Barack Obama, promised to scuttle the project.  This flushed $15 billion in development costs down the drain, and left all that spent nuclear waste decaying in very expensive, less optimal temporary storage near the reactors.

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