In 2002, Yucca Mountain was certified as the site for the nation's repository for spent nuclear fuel; however, currently, there is no projected date on which the facility's operations will commence. The Nuclear Waste Act set an original goal of 1998 for opening a repository, and by missing that date, the Department of Energy (DOE) was found in breach of that obligation. More recently, the Department had indicated that it hoped to file a license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by December 2004 and to begin accepting waste in 2010. The target for the license application was missed and the Department no longer believes that the facility will be open in 2010.In addition, the long standing issue of funding for the Yucca Mountain project continues to be of concern. While the balance in the Nuclear Waste Fund is currently $19 billion, annual appropriations are only a fraction of the amount contributed by ratepayers.


As a strong supporter of the Yucca Mountain program, I am concerned about these issues which are affecting the filing of the license application and the ultimate opening of the facility.