From: Poornima Gupta, Reuters
Published March 6, 2010 07:46 AM

The nuclear waste issue must be solved

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Friday that the United States needs to come up with a better system for storing or disposing of radioactive nuclear waste than a planned repository near Las Vegas.

"The president has made it very clear that we are going to go beyond Yucca mountain. You should go beyond Yucca mountain," Chu said. "But instead of wringing my hands, let's go forward and do something better."


The Obama administration, in January, announced it was stopping the license application for a long-planned multi-billion dollar nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain near Las Vegas, which is opposed by environmental groups.

The Energy Department formally asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week to withdraw the application.

Chu said when the waste site was first started, there were conditions put in the requirements for the repository that didn't really mesh with what scientists knew even back then.

"Long, long ago, it began looking less and less ideal," he said. "As time wore on, it's got to be one of those things: 'oops this might have happen, oops the Supreme Court says this...',"

"Wouldn't it be nice to step back and take a fresh look?" he asked.

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