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Life After Yucca

Reviving hope for spent-fuel storage.

Fortnightly Magazine - November 2010

5. See Fernald Web site Ohio EPA,

6. See NRC list of 13 nuclear power plants going through decommissioning,

7. See article in The New Mexico Independent, April 1, 2009, “If Carlsbad Mayor Bob Forrest has anything to say about it, trucks and trains from around the country could be carrying used nuclear fuel rods, and other hot radioactive material, on New Mexico interstates and rail lines near major population centers to oil and gas and potash country in the southeast part of the state.”

8. U.S.-German Workshop on Salt Repository Research, Design, and Operation/ Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Waste in Bedded Salt held in the United States, Sandia National Laboratory, May 2010.

9. “Yucca Mountain cost estimate rises to $96 billion,” World Nuclear News (Aug. 6, 2008).

10. John Applegate [first chairman of the Fernald SSAB], “Beyond the Usual Suspects: The Use of Citizens Advisory Boards in Environmental Decisionmaking,” Indiana Law Journal , Summer 1998, *903.

11. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Dockets 11005710 and 11005711.

12. “Skull Valley Goshutes/PFS Timeline,” Public Citizen,

13. On Sept. 7, 2006, two agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior issued two decisions blocking the Skull Valley Private Fuel Storage (PFS) project. The Bureau of Indian Affairs disapproved a proposed lease of tribal trust lands to PFS, concluding there was too much risk that the waste could remain at the site indefinitely, among other objections. Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management rejected the necessary rights-of-way to transport waste to the facility, concluding that a proposed rail line would be incompatible with the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area and that existing roads would be inadequate. Contending that the Interior Department was motivated by political pressure from the State of Utah, which strongly opposed the facility, the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes and PFS filed a federal lawsuit July 17, 2007, to overturn the decisions. Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians and Private Fuel Storage, LLC, v. James E. Cason et al. (U.S.D.C.-Utah, Central Division 2007); and also Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record of Decision for the Construction and Operation of an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) on the Reservation of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians (Band) in Tooele County, Utah, Sept. 7, 2006.

14. Federal Circuit Court Judge David Ebel ruled in July 2010 that the Interior Department’s decisions blocking the Skull Valley project were “arbitrary and capricious.” Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians and Private Fuel Storage v. Laura Davis (U.S. Department of the Interior), U.S.D.C.-Utah, Civil Action No. 07-cv-0526-DME-DON (July 26, 2010).