The Yucca Mountain storage facility was proposed as a means of safely storing our country’s estimated 65,000 metric tons of nuclear fuel. At present, this nuclear material is being stored at or near nuclear reactors in 33 different states. Pressure to resume research at Yucca Mountain has been highlighted in recent years by the Japanese disaster in March 2011, where containers of nuclear waste were damaged by an earthquake and tsunami.
At present, an estimated 12 billion dollars has been invested by the federal government into the Yucca Mountain Storage Facility for nuclear waste. However, the project was cancelled in 2009, despite stiff opposition from Senate Republicans and the Department of Energy. As of 2011, the Obama Administration has upheld this position, cutting any discretionary spending which could continue to fund the program. The Obama camp has failed to cite environmental or safety reasons for axing Yucca Mountain, causing many critics to believe that the administration is putting political concerns before the well being of the nation.
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