Late this past summer, a construction project began at Indian Point that will allow the fuel to be pulled out of the pools. But itâ€™s not going to Yucca. The government says Yucca wonâ€™t be ready until 2010. Executives in the nuclear industry say a more likely date is between 2015 and never. So instead of traveling to Nevada, Indian Pointâ€™s fuel is traveling about 100 meters, to a bluff overlooking the Hudson River. On a late-summer day this year, a backhoe tore out maple and black-walnut trees to make way for a concrete pad. Beginning next year, the first of a planned 72 six-meter-tall concrete-and-steel casks will be placed there, a configuration that adds storage capacity and thus allows the twin power plants to keep operating. Though they provide a hedge against a worst-case fuel-pool meltdown, these casks are merely another temporary solution. The fact that theyâ€™re needed at all represents the colossal failure of the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s Yucca plans and technology.
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