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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Reid Victory Likely to Keep Yucca Mountain Sealed
3 November 2010 4:20 pm
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada won reelection yesterday in a race with major ramifications for nuclear power politics.
Reid's victory over Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle not only helped the Democrats retain their majority—allowing him to retain his position as Majority Leader but also lets the Obama Administration continue moving forward with its plan to abandon a proposed nuclear waste-disposal project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
One of Reid's big promises to Nevada voters was that this waste site would never be developed on his watch. The Obama Administration has cooperated closely with Reid in closing down the 20-year-old project. And despite efforts by Republicans to embarrass the Department of Energy (DOE) over its apparent deference to Reid in pulling its application for a license, DOE seems likely to stay the course. As a Reid spokesperson commented to the Las Vegas Review-Journal a few weeks before the election: "As long as Senator Reid is majority leader, there will not be a Yucca Mountain. …Yucca Mountain will be dead."
But being dead in the Senate doesn't mean Yucca Mountain can't be a lively topic in the House of Representatives, where Republicans won majority control for the next Congress that convenes in January. Republicans who have been critical of DOE and of Obama appointees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are likely to press both agencies on exactly how the Yucca Mountain project was terminated. Already, the NRC inspector has been asked to look into communications between the NRC chair and Reid's office in the days before a decision last month to stop work on a safety review. The reports of the commission's Inspector General may also be a topic for House hearings.