About The Yucca Mountain Project

The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, located on a piece of land adjoining the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, was designed to be a deep geological repository storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and other high- level radioactive waste, as designated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act amendments of 1987.

 

 

 

About The YMP Website

This website is offered in order to shed light on the Yucca Mountain effort. First, we believe it is important to present factual information on Yucca Mountain, as opponents have made every effort to disassemble and erase its outstanding research record from the pages of history since the Obama Administration terminated the project in 2011.

Second, Yucca Mountain represents feats of engineering and scientific prowess that need to be more widely recognized. The facts need to be told.

And . . . the United States still needs a safe place to store its high-level nuclear waste.

Project Overview

The United States currently obtains about 20 percent of its commercial electricity from nuclear energy. Waste from the more than 60 commercial nuclear power plants operating across the country is accumulating at the rate of about 2,000 tons per year. Approximately 65,000 tons are currently in temporary storage at the sites where it was produced.

In 1987, Congress singled out Yucca Mountain, located in Nye County, Nevada, adjoining the Nevada Test Site, as the site for intensive study of long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste.

As of 2011, the nation has spent as much as $15 billion on finding a permanent storage site for its high-level nuclear waste, some $9 billion on Yucca Mountain alone. Hundreds of men and women worked on the study of Yucca Mountain for decades, including some of the best scientists in the world.

In 2011, as a result of political maneuvering, funding on Yucca Mountain and the search for a permanent storage site for high-level nuclear waste came to a halt.

Yet in 2014, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission declared that high-level nuclear waste could be safely stored at Yucca Mountain for at least 1 million years.

 

Timeline History of the Yucca Mountain Project

Click on an event in the time-line to hear more about the history of the Yucca Mountain Project

Yucca Mountain Project Oral Histories

Steve BradhurstRichard BryanRuss DyerNed ElkinsChic HechtGary HollisBob LouxDon ViethMichael VoegeleJean YounkerIn 2013, interviews were conducted with numerous people—both proponents and opponents—who offered important perspectives on Yucca Mountain. Those people included Yucca Mountain scientists, engineers, and contractors; Department of Energy contractors; county and state officials.  The oral histories listed below were prepared as part of the Nye County Town History Project (NCTHP).

 

Together, these interviews comprise a body of valuable information obtained from individuals representing a variety of perspectives on this important effort in our nation’s energy history. A credible history of Yucca Mountain cannot be written without incorporation of such variable knowledge and perspectives. If development of a permanent repository at Yucca Mountain moves forward, such information on how the site was evaluated and on the enormous amount of work involved in demonstrating its suitability will prove invaluable once construction begins. The same applies for selection of a second or third repository site, and for the efforts of other nations to construct repositories as well. If the Yucca Mountain effort never moves forward, these interviews still will be helpful in understanding the great effort that went into the evaluation of Yucca Mountain as a site for permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel. It unfortunately also tells how a good part of the more than $11 billion spent in evaluation was in large measure wasted, not for technical faults, but for political expediency.

US Department of Energy

Yucca Mountain: The Making of an Underground Laboratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch this 5 part video series describing how and why the nuclear waste

repository laboratory was built into Yucca Mountain

More from the DOE about the Yucca Mountain Project

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YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT

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