AIR DATE: August 9, 2010
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In 1987, the U.S. government named Yucca Mountain as the central spot to deposit the nation's nuclear waste. The Department of Energy (DOE) and Congress eventually signed off on it, and Yucca Mountain was up and running. But opponents always rallied against it, citing safety concerns and improper political influences. Then in January, President Obama said to shut Yucca Mountain down. The DOE tried to withdraw its application to license Yucca for storage, but a Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled that it couldn't do that. So where do we stand with Yucca now? Where will all that waste go? Should it be reprocessed instead at Yucca, as some politicians say? Is the real issue about safety, waste storage, or politics? And what will happen to all the Yucca employees who are suddenly out of a job?
Bruce Breslow, Exec Dir, Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects
Roger Henning, Former Sr Principal Hydrogeologist and Onsite Technical Mgr, Nuclear and Regulatory Support Svcs, Yucca Mountain