Bombshell Testimony Reveals Energy Secretary Ignored Technical Experts When Withdrawing Yucca Mountain Application

June 8, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - During last week's Environment and the Economy Subcommittee hearing on "The Department of Energy's Role in Managing Civilian Radioactive Waste," witnesses revealed that Energy Secretary Steven Chu simply ignored the technical components of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository when withdrawing the project's license application.

Christopher Kouts, a former 25-year DOE employee who served as acting director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management and was the point person for the Yucca project, testified that Secretary Chu ignored technical experts when withdrawing the repository's application. This nuclear insider said DOE's decision to shut down Yucca Mountain was disturbing given the scientific and technical consensus that the site would meet stringent safety regulations.

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When questioned about what information was considered in the Department of Energy's decision to pull the license application, Kouts said no one in his department was ever consulted about the decision, which he believes the Secretary's decision was not based on technical issues. Kouts' testimony comes on the heels of a Government Accountability Office report that found "social and political opposition to a permanent repository, not technical issues, is the key obstacle."


Watch the video HERE