Paul Golan, the project's acting director, said the plans would simplify design, licensing and construction of the dump. The plans also would presumably ease the burden the department will face when it goes to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.
The Energy Department's plan would require nuclear waste to be sealed in standardized containers at nuclear power plants. That, said officials, would eliminate the need for a one-of-a-kind "multibillion-dollar" facility at Yucca Mountain to do so, leaving the site "primarily clean or non-contaminated."
Nevada officials told The Sun they view the plan as "desperate" and predict a long delay in opening a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.
Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., issued a statement saying, "Calling plans to dump radioactive garbage in Nevada 'clean' is an insult to the intelligence of families in the Silver State and ignores the fact that nuclear waste is one of the deadliest substances on Earth."
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