WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Energy last night notified President George Bush that the agency recommends Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a suitable site for underground disposal of used nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs. The following comments on the recommendation are from Joe Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute:
"The nuclear energy industry is delighted that the Department of Energy has recommended Yucca Mountain to the President as a suitable disposal site based on two decades of extensive scientific analysis and sound conclusions. It's important that the federal government is taking a necessary step toward fulfilling its obligation to safely isolate and dispose of used nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and material from our national defense programs.
"With nearly two decades of exhaustive scientific analysis supporting DOE's recommendation, we believe that President Bush should approve the Yucca Mountain site for a state-of-the-art management facility that protects public safety and our environment. Yucca Mountain is scientifically sound, and scientific consensus supports the multi-layered protection of a specially designed underground disposal facility as the best solution-far preferable to leaving this material in 39 states. If approved by the President, the recommendation allows the process to proceed to the licensing phase-and the scientific research will continue.
"It's important that the government continue to move forward on the Yucca Mountain project as long as science deems it prudent to do so. It will help to ensure our national security so that future generations of Americans can continue to enjoy the energy, economic and clean-air benefits of nuclear energy."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.