Seeking to move past the Yucca Mountain controversy, the Obama administration on Friday disclosed it will ask Congress to approve a new national nuclear waste plan that would start with a pilot interim storage site by 2021.
The Energy Department said it would seek to open a full-scale interim storage facility by 2025 and a permanent geologic repository by 2048 under the plan. All of the sites would be chosen with the consent of the host communities.
The strategy represents the administration's response to the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. President Barack Obama formed the commission after canceling plans to dispose of high-level waste from nuclear power plants at the Yucca Mountain geologic repository in Nevada.
In a report on the strategy, the department said multiple storage and repository sites could be sought, but that it was proposing just one of each type for now.