WASHINGTON—President George Bush today approved the Department of Energy’s recommendation of Yucca Mountain, Nev., for underground disposal of used nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and high-level waste from U.S. defense programs. The Presidential decision comes on the heels of the agency’s determination that the site is scientifically suitable for a geologic repository. The following comments on the President’s decision to approve Yucca Mountain are from Joe Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute:
“The nuclear energy industry applauds the President for approving the Yucca Mountain site, honoring his word to make a decision based on sound science. After almost two decades of exhaustive scientific evaluation showing that the site is suitable to isolate and safely dispose of used nuclear fuel, the federal government is acting responsibly and taking steps to fulfill its obligation to the American people.
“Nuclear energy is an important component of the administration’s comprehensive national energy policy, and President Bush recognizes the vital role nuclear energy plays in ensuring America’s energy, economic and national security. The President’s approval of the Yucca Mountain site allows the government’s nuclear waste management program to proceed to the licensing phase. Meanwhile, the scientific research will continue. .
“As long as science deems it prudent to do so, the federal government should continue to move forward on the Yucca Mountain project. Despite the fact that the nuclear energy industry safely manages its used nuclear fuel at 103 power reactors, the best solution is to place used nuclear fuel and defense waste from 39 states in one secure, isolated, underground disposal facility—a position long supported by scientific consensus and in the best interest of our national security. We commend President Bush for his leadership in moving forward with a federal repository and in helping to ensure that future generations also will be able to enjoy the 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.