Yucca Mountain is 'best solution,' Sanford says

South Carolina Governor wants the Obama administration to reconsider its decision to scrap a planned nuclear waste repository.

 

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford wants the Obama administration to reconsider its decision to scrap a planned nuclear waste repository in Nevada's Yucca Mountain.

"My administration would submit that this decision is spectacularly misguided, and breaks a promise made to South Carolina and other states nearly three decades ago," Sanford wrote in a letter Thursday to all members of the state's congressional delegation.

Yucca Mountain was being designed to accommodate radioactive material that is stored at 121 temporary sites in 39 states, including Savannah River Site, where high-level wastes are stored in steel cylinders that were to eventually be shipped elsewhere. Yucca Mountain also would have housed waste from the nation's 104 currently operating commercial reactors.

Last week, the Obama administration made official its plan to abandon the project, saying a panel of experts would be convened to devise alternatives.

"We believe the decision will have dangerous consequences in our state and we would ask you to pursue every avenue possible to keep us on the path of a permanent nuclear waste storage site," Sanford wrote, adding that South Carolina now stores the third-highest volume of nuclear waste in the nation.

"At the very minimum, any alternative must meet the same timeline as the Yucca Mountain path was to follow," he wrote. "We believe the best solution still lies in finishing the job that has been under way 23 years."