Nuclear storage at Yucca jumps 38% — to $96B

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"Nuclear storage at Yucca jumps 38% — to $96B"

New nuclear power plants aren’t cheap. Neither is storing their waste. E&E News (subs. req’d) reports on at Yucca Mountain:

DOE has spent $13.5 billion since 1983, and figures to spend $54.8 billion on construction, operation and decommissioning of the repository; $19.5 billion for transporting the waste — including building the canisters for holding waste; and $8.4 billion for other program activities.

The report notes that the expenses were based on a repository opening date of 2017 — a best possible opening date that Sproat has already said is no longer possible due to budget constraints, which have pushed it to 2020. The lifecycle estimate also does not include the at least $11 billion in liability expenses DOE expects for breaking its contract with utilities to begin taking away the spent nuclear fuel in 1998.

Another possible cost increase could come from the more than 30 planned new nuclear reactors, which were not included in the estimate. Sproat said trying to estimate costs for waste from the new reactors would be speculative and would no longer provide “an apples to apples” comparison with the 2001 report….

Click here to view the lifecycle estimate report.

But don’t worry America. I doubt Yucca Mountain will be opening up even in 2020. You can rest assured that nuclear plants will be storing their own waste for as far as the eye can see.

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8 Responses to Nuclear storage at Yucca jumps 38% — to $96B

  1. I agree that Yucca is a dumb idea (probably for different reasons than you–I think it’s a terrible waste of useful fuel) but one of the things I noticed was that that bill ran over 100 years. That’s only about $1B per year. If the $25B already in the nuclear waste fund was invested at 5% interest, that would yield $1.25B in perpetuity in interest alone.

  2. charlesH says:

    No argument here. There is a better way.

    Yep, for a fraction of the cost we could have LFTRs producing 1% of the waste volume and storage needs of 10-300 yrs instead of 10000yrs.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    If I may–I wrote about this same development this morning over on The Cost of Energy, and talked about things like when Yucca will be filled, and pleading for everyone to take a longer-term view of nuclear waste management.

    http://www.grinzo.com/energy/index.php/2008/08/06/the-other-yucca-numbers/

  4. Rick C says:

    Heard John McCain recently marvel about “cheap” available nuclear power. Guess he didn’t get the memo.

  5. paulm says:

    And how much do we trust that the correct Nuclear procedures will be followed when we go in to a recession/depression and there is no money in the kitty. Seems to me we play with fire down the nuclear path.

  6. llewelly says:

    Yep, for a fraction of the cost we could have LFTRs producing 1% of the waste volume and storage needs of 10-300 yrs instead of 10000yrs

    The nuclear industry has only ever built one LFTR. And only a few other thorium reactors have ever been built. There’s no reason to believe they will ever build significant numbers of thorium reactors of any sort. The facts that the fuel is far more common than Uranium, far safer to mine, and the reactors potentially safer to run have been known for decades – and the nuclear industry has done nothing. (Except shut down thorium reactors.) There was once a window during which development of thorium reactor tech could have created a reactor that could compete with solar and wind. But the nuclear industry has boarded that window up. For good or ill, solar and wind are available today, and highly effective today. Thorium reactors are not.

  7. paulm says:

    the guardian,Climate change: Prepare for global temperature rise of 4C, warns top scientist

    Now we are starting to see some plain straightforward risk probabilities coming out….and it does not look good.

  8. utanma says:

    nuclear industry has only ever built one LFTR. And only a few other thorium reactors have ever been built. There’s no reason to believe they will ever build significant numbers of thorium reactors of any sort. The facts that the fuel is far more common than Uranium, far safer to mine, and the reactors potentially safer to run have been known for decades Рand the nuclear industry has done nothing. (Except shut down thorium reactors.) There was once a window during which development of thorium reactor tech could have created a reactor that could compete with solar and wind. But the nuclear industry has boarded that window up. For good or ill, solar and wind are available today, and highly effective today. Thorium reactors are not.