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Muddled maths on the supposed costs of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mt

Uncertain Costs for Renewed Nuclear Waste Push in Nevada, Roll Call ,The controversial Yucca Mountain plan would spur a $260 million spending increase, but the math is muddled Oct 10, 2017 

 Jeremy Dillon, A House bill to restart the process of making Nevada’s Yucca Mountain a permanent repository for nuclear waste would increase spending by $260 million over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday in a report that acknowledges some uncertain numbers.

The CBO’s score could be a hurdle for the Yucca bill by forcing its backers to offset the cost by cutting other federal spending under pay-as-you-go budget mandates. The bill moved out of the Energy and Commerce Committee with surprisingly bipartisan support considering how the issue had divided Capitol Hill while Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada was majority leader. Reid didn’t seek reelection in 2016.

Among its key provisions, the bill would provide incentives in the form of federal dollars for infrastructure improvements to states and communities willing to host the nuclear waste at temporary storage sites and the long-term disposal facility at Yucca Mountain.

According to the CBO, those benefit payments account for the bill’s 10-year, $260-million direct-spending increase. The agency also noted that the 10-year increase would have little effect on the long-term costs of the nation’s existing waste disposal responsibilities under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, which are likely to stretch through much of the 21st century and cost nearly $100 billion…….

DOE estimated in 2016 that its legal liabilities resulting from its failure to move the waste would total $25 billion……

Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat who represents much of Las Vegas, said in a statement Friday that the CBO report “is seriously flawed.”

“It does not take into account the cost of building the Yucca Mountain repository — a figure that’s estimated at more than $95 billion,” Titus said. “It ignores the fact that the Nuclear Waste Fund, which is to pay for the project, will diminish in the coming years as older nuclear power plants shut down. It also projects costs for only 10 years without accounting for the lifetime of the project which is supposedly designed to safely contain nuclear waste for 10,000 years.”

Titus, instead, pitched her own bill, which would advance a nuclear waste disposal site only with the signoff from the state and local government. https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/97434-2

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October 14, 2017 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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