More than 20 years after the U.S. Congress in 1987 designated Yucca Mountain in western Nevada as the sole geological repository for used, or spent, American nuclear reactor fuel and high-level nuclear waste, the repository still hasn't opened. Ongoing media coverage of nuclear waste issues generally, and the Yucca Mountain proposal specifically, builds on a long history of controversy and a host of complex technical arguments. While billions of dollars have been spent in constructing the underground site at Yucca Mountain, Nevadans have charged that it would endanger the state's health and safety along with imperiling people in states through which the waste would be shipped by rail or highway. And in late 2007, Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada succeeded in having the ...

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