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Photograph

Courtesy Department of Energy

Yucca Mountain, Nevada


Position:
36°56'N 116°27'W, Elevation 1509 meters


Datemark:
1989 and 1994


Mission:
Report on nuclear waste disposal

Under Auspices of:
Discover magazine and Earth magazine

Results:
Magazine articles and radio features

SYPNOPSIS
Finding a site for the nation's only high-level radioactive waste repository is no simple task. Before the government can begin to fill the one site in the U.S. under serious consideration for storing nuclear waste—Yucca Mountain—it must prove that the deadly residues will stay put in the mountain's volcanic rock for thousands of years. The federal Department of Energy has assembled one of the largest teams of geologists in history to perform the most complete study of any rock body ever conducted. Even so, the process has been deeply flawed. Along with co-author Seth Shulman, I reported on Yucca Mountain twice, raising questions about the study process, which have since been borne out in a longstanding stalemate over the site’s future.


  • Read A Nuclear Dump: The Experiment Begins, published in Discover
  • Read Verdict at Yucca Mountain: Will America’s Nuclear Waste Dump be Safe?, published in Earth