Often asked: What Is Yucca Mountain?

What is Yucca Mountain used for?

The Yucca Mountain repository is the proposed spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) repository where both types of radioactive waste could be disposed.

Why is Yucca Mountain suitable for nuclear waste?

The nuclear industry and experts want a long-term, safer dump than the more than 100 pools currently holding nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain was chosen because it is in a desert location far from population centers, and because it is surrounded by federal land.

Why is Yucca Mountain a bad idea?

The state’s official position is that Yucca Mountain is a singularly bad site to house the nation’s high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel for several reasons: These issues include hydrology, inadequacy of the proposed waste package, repository design and volcanism.

Why is Yucca Mountain a good idea?

The DOE maintains that Yucca Mountain was selected because it was consistently ranked as the site that possessed the best technical and scientific characteristics to serve as a repository. The Department says that Yucca Mountain is a good place to store waste because the repository would be: In a desert location.

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Is Yucca Mountain being used for nuclear waste?

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) codified the U.S. Department of Energy’s responsibility for developing a geologic repository for used nuclear fuel. In 2002, the president and Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site for this repository.

How much will Yucca Mountain cost?

The Department of Energy estimated in 2008 that the project as a whole would require up to $96 billion to complete; it’s already cost taxpayers $15 billion. Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles from Las Vegas, was selected in 1987 as the only site to be considered for a national nuclear waste repository.

Will Yucca Mountain ever open?

DOE abandons 2017 opening date for Yucca Mountain, estimating that the facility will not be operational until 2020 at the earliest. DOE’s Yucca Mountain public internet database, the Licensing Support Network, is ruled complete.

Can you put nuclear waste in a volcano?

Shorter half-life nuclear material, such as strontium-90 (a half-life of roughly 30 years) could theoretically be stored/disposed of in volcanoes, but the most dangerous waste materials that humans need to dispose of are often those that have longer half-lives.

Can you visit Yucca Mountain?

As of 2019, tours are not available to Yucca Mountain. However, you can make an appointment to tour the Nevada Test Site.

What are the alternatives to Yucca Mountain?

Without congressional action, alternatives to Yucca Mountain would consist primarily of indefinite on-site storage or licensing of new private storage sites.

Can radioactivity be eliminated?

Can radioactivity be eliminated or radioactive decay speeded up? It can be eliminated and decay can be sped up through a process called transmutation which changes the properties of an atom, however it is very expensive.

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What is the controversy about Yucca Mountain?

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that approves radioactive-waste storage sites, published a long-delayed report in 2014 deeming Yucca Mountain safe. But critics worry that groundwater in Yucca Mountain could corrode the canisters that store nuclear waste, causing a radioactive leak.

What would happen if Yucca Mountain exploded?

The radioactive hazard from Yucca Mountain would threaten human health and the environment for a million years,” he said. “The cumulative uncertainties from volcanism, earthquakes and climate change are so large that the site should have been found unsuitable decades ago.”

How much money has been spent on the Yucca Mountain site so far?

So far $7.5 billion has been spent on Yucca Mountain.

Is the risk of a volcanic explosion at Yucca Mountain high or low?

Yucca Mountain is located within a long-lived volcanic field. Risk assessments have suggested that the probability of volcanic activity occurring during the 10,000-year compliance period of the repository is around 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000.

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