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Friday, May 13, 2011 - 12:14pm

Report Promotes Nuclear Waste Repository

A new report asks Congress to revive plans for a site to house thousands of tons of nuclear waste.

Officials with the Government Accountability Office say the U.S. Department of Energy acted too quickly when it shut down the Yucca Mountain waste repository near Las Vegas.

The independent agency says the decision was based on intense opposition from Nevada lawmakers rather than safety concerns.

Mark Gaffigan with the GAO says halting the project could cost taxpayers billions and slow plans for dealing with the nation’s waste:

"We point out there’s no guarantee there’s a more acceptable or a less costly alternative and point out the fact that about 15 billion dollars in today’s money has been spent on this project so far."

A federal commission created to explore alternatives to Yucca is expected to release findings this summer.

Nuclear facilities nationwide currently store more than 70,000 tons of waste.

That includes Plant Vogtle and the Savannah River Site near Augusta.