Plans for a Southern Nevada national nuclear waste repository are all but kaput. The U.S. Energy Dept. said Feb. 1 it will withdraw its Nuclear Regulatory Commission application within 30 days. The move comes after DOE spent nearly three decades and $38 billion on waste repository tests and studies at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The agency planned to store up to 77,000 tons of radioactive waste there from 80 sites in 35 states. Spent utility fuel and high-level defense waste would be placed in specially engineered containers housed inside a network of tunnels built deep within
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.