Yucca Mountain options are limited due to challenges

A study finds that alternative uses for the Yucca Mountain site could face legal, financial and logistical challenges.

The study done by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Yucca Mountain: Information on Alternative Uses of the Site and Related Challenges,” said that alternative uses considered in the study fell into five categories: Nuclear or radiological uses; defense or homeland security activities; information technology uses; energy development or storage; and scientific research. Actual projects considered for the site ranged from an interim storage site for nuclear fuel to a training ground for first responders in emergency situations.

Many of the proposals in the study would be costly and face significant challenges, and many of the activities could be undertaken elsewhere in the U.S., the report said. The site’s remote location would also be a challenge for power generation that would require massive investments in transmission lines, and there are currently only temporary buildings on site, the study said.

The study also notes that any alternative use of the site faces legal and administrative challenges, including the continuing legal proceedings surrounding the U.S. Department of Energy’s withdrawal of its application to build the spent fuel repository. In addition, three federal agencies all have jurisdiction over the repository site.

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