DOE’s Perry Calls Yucca Mountain A “Moral Obligation”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week told committees in the House and Senate that reviving Yucca Mountain’s application as a federal repository for nuclear waste was a “moral obligation” to the public.
“We have a moral and national security obligation to come up with a long-term solution, finding the safest repositories available,” Perry told lawmakers of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, using similar terms to address the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Energy and Water Development the next day.
“I understand this is a politically sensitive topic for some, but we can no longer kick the can down the road,” The Washington Times quoted Perry as saying.
Perry’s appeals were directed at the 2018 fiscal year budget, which begins at the end of September. The budget for the Department of Energy (DOE) is $28 billion. It includes a resumption of Nuclear Regulatory Commission efforts to license Yucca Mountain as a permanent storage site for spent nuclear fuel at a price of $110 million. Another $10 million is set aside for development of an interim storage facility that would facilitate Yucca Mountain’s operations. Perry said an interim storage facility would lend practical flexibility to the concept of shipping spent fuel waste to just one destination – Yucca Mountain.