Morning Briefing - February 17, 2021
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February 17, 2021

Yucca Mountain Planning Expenses Under $8,000 in December, NRC Chair Says

By ExchangeMonitor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission spent under $8,000 in December on planning activities for the moribund Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, the agency’s chairman told the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a letter last week.

In a letter dated Feb. 8, NRC chair Christopher Hanson told Energy and Commerce head Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) that the agency had only spent $7,979 from the Nuclear Waste Fund (NWF) in December on the Yucca Mountain project. The commission “provided limited program planning and support and continued knowledge management activities” during that time, Hanson told Pallone in the letter.

According to the commission’s NWF expense report for December, the agency has spent $13 million on the Yucca Mountain project since 2013. There’s still about $400 thousand left in the Fund, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has yet to set any formal agenda for nuclear waste disposal. However, two separate cabinet appointees said during their Senate confirmation hearings that they would not to support development of a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. 

Neera Tanden, Biden’s nominee for Office of Management and Budget chief, told Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) at her hearing Feb. 10 that she would not fund the site. Jennifer Granholm, whose nomination for energy secretary passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Feb. 3, said during her hearing Jan. 27 that she wouldn’t pursue a repository at Yucca Mountain, either.

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