Yucca Mountain: did politics trump science?

The entrance of Nevada's Yucca Mountain - site of a proposed permanent nuclear waste depository - is seen in this April 2006 file photo. AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

Entrance to a tunnel at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
AP Photo/Isaac Brekken
(CBS News) For more than 50 years, the debate has raged over where to store radioactive nuclear waste in this country. The solution was supposed to be at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. But the multi-billion storage project has been shelved. CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports a congressional committee wants to find out why.

Nuclear waste is the radioactive guest on the doorstep of many of America's most populous cities. There are nearly 70,000 tons from 104 reactors nationwide, often piling up just 50 miles from cities like New York, Chicago, and San Diego.

In the high desert of Nevada, Yucca Mountain was one site designed to store all of our nation's waste. But today, the government won't let CBS News cameras anyone near the site. It's shut down, locked up, and caught up in what critics charge was nothing more than pure politics.

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  • Laura Strickler

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