U.S. Department of Energy
Friday, April 17, 2009 | 1:06 p.m.
WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama submits his 2010 budget request with actual numbers next month, it is expected to show a substantial funding cut for the Yucca Mountain project, a trade publication reports today.
Obama will cut Yucca Mountain to just $198 million, which is nearly $100 million less than what the program is operating on for 2009, according to the New Nuclear Build Monitor.
The reduced budget is no surprise after Obama, in his budget outlook earlier this year, said he would “scale back” plans for the nuclear repository north of Las Vegas — signaling the end of Yucca Mountain.
Obama had campaigned in Nevada against the waste dump and pledged it would not be built.
Yet the cut would be severe and a great departure from Bush administration budgets, which at one point sought four times that amount to develop the nuclear waste repository.
It has been understood that Obama would provide enough funding this coming fiscal year to support the Energy Department's Yucca Mountain application pending before the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions as alternatives are sought.
The trade publication reports that of the $198 million, $5 million will be made available to the previously announced blue ribbon commission that will develop alternatives to the storage site.