Legislators hear interim storage and reprocessing ideas

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By Roger Snodgrass

A panel of legislators meeting in Fuller Lodge Friday heard updates on the Yucca Mountain repository and called on researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory for reports on current energy issues in the state and nation.

Rep. John A. Heaton, D-Eddy, committee chairman, began the proceedings by delivering a summary of the status of interim storage of nuclear fuel prepared for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), which represents the nuclear industry.

The policy organization’s legislative programs director, Marshall Cohen, was unable to attend the meeting in person, but Heaton was familiar with the issues covered.

“All of you are aware of the problems Yucca Mountain has had,” Heaton said, referring to the controversial underground site, where the spent fuel from the nation’s nuclear power plants are supposed to be permanently stored. That is, when and if one of the nation’s deepest quandaries can ever be solved.

A new “Analysis of the Total System Life Cycle Cost” issued earlier this month by the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program listed some of the concerns Heaton relayed from NEI.

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