Heritage Panel on Yucca Concludes That Yucca Remains Top Priority

Nicolas Loris /

Nuclear power is emerging as a solution to not only global energy demand but also America’s energy concerns for clean, safe affordable energy. The 104 reactors in the United States alone supply the country with 20% of its electricity. The same reactors also generated nearly 56,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel that remains on site in 39 states. Managing this spent fuel has become the subject of both scientific and political debate.

The Heritage Foundation hosted an event titled, “Yucca Mountain and the Nuclear Renaissance: Assessing the Safety and Viability of a Vital National Asset” to address these points of contention. The event featured keynote speaker Edward F. Sproat III, Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management for the Department of Energy. Following Mr. Sproat was a distinguished panel of three experts with unique, specialized knowledge on the issue of Yucca Mountain. The event can be viewed here.

One point that was repeated amongst the panel was that while recycling spent fuel or placing it in interim storage may have a role to play, America’s focus must remain on opening Yucca Mountain in a timely fashion. Despite whatever other technologies are developed, there is an enduring need for permanent geologic storage. (more…)