EDITORIAL

Déjà vu for U.S. nuclear waste

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Science  30 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6345, pp. 1313
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1711

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Summary

With the arrival of the 115th U.S. Congress, the House of Representatives began hearings on the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017. The legislation restarts Yucca Mountain as a repository for highly radioactive waste. In 1987, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, selecting Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the only site to be studied, expecting the repository to open in 1998. It did not. Over the past 30 years, not much has changed. But going forward—or not—with Yucca Mountain will not address the systemic problems of the U.S. nuclear waste program, and this may well lead to continued failure.