Two or three communities, according to Cohen, are showing interest in the proposition, but he declined to name them pending further negotiations. He did say, however, that some were among the 11 sites that once volunteered to host a government run nuclear waste reprocessing site. Those states were Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington..
The move is seen as a major shift from reliance on completion of the Yucca Mountain project that would send spent waste to reprocessing facilities. Presently waste is stored on above-ground pads and in steel and concrete casks. The Department of Energy has voiced its disapproval of such action, citing political, legal and technical challenges.
This wouldn’t rule out the anticipated completion of Yucca Mountain, but could answer the question of what to do with radioactive waste that’s piling up at nuclear facilities around the country. Should the new Congress decided to halt the Nevada project, as has been threatened, industry officials believe their proposal will offer some relief to local reactor sites until a permanent repository is completed.