GAO studies alternative uses for Yucca Mountain

Thursday - 10/20/2011, 10:11am EDT

Frank Rusco, director of Natural Resources and Environment Issues, GAO

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The future of the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada remains uncertain.

Originally designated a repository for nuclear waste, the Energy Department has been dragging its feet on actually making it one since 1983. And, in 2010, the administration proposed ending eliminating funding for the project.

A continuing lawsuit has only added the uncertainty of the site's future.

However, the Government Accountability Office recently surveyed proposed alternative uses and recently released its findings in a report.

The location and geographic makeup of the land holds some promise, and GAO investigators reported dozens of proposed alternative uses

Frank Rusco, the director of Natural Resources and Environment Issues at GAO, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss the report.

He said the proposed uses for the site fall into five broad categories:

  • Nuclear or radiological
  • Defense and homeland security
  • IT
  • Energy development
  • Scientific research

"We polled a group of experts, and there was no broad consensus about a best use," Rusco said. "None of them really stood out as an obvious choice."

Yucca Mountain GAO Report