Senator Lindsay Graham, and others, have also raised the issue of what is to become of the $35 billion which South Carolina and other states have been charged to build "the repository to nowhere". Senator Graham and others have introduced a bill requiring the president to either open Yucca Mountain or rebate the $35 billion to the ratepayers who contributed the fund. South Carolina's portion, built through charges for monthly electricity, would come to some $1.3 billion.
Either way, it looks as though there is finally some positive news for the daunting problem of the nation's nuclear waste. Whether or not Yucca Mountain is an appropriate site for permanent storage of the waste, it certainly must be considered as the leading candidate for an interim storage site. Research and development efforts currently on the drawing board should soon show the way to environmentally responsible, and logical, technologies for handling the waste. Once the waste can be safely secured, the nuclear energy industry will have overcome a serious obstacle to its role in the nation's energy future. Finally, South Carolina may receive rebate monies to the tune of $1.3 billion if the Obama administration sticks to its opposition to open Yucca Mountain.