The Dept. of Energy has issued a timetable that calls for building and opening a nuclear waste repository under Nevada�s Yucca Mountain by April 2017. But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calls DOE�s plan, released July 18, �little more than a wish list� and contends the facility �will never open.�

Edward Sproat, director of DOE�s office of civilian radioactive waste management, told a House subcommittee July 19 that DOE plans to file a �defensible and credible� license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by June 30, 2008, for the repository.

DOE�s �best achievable� timetable includes starting to build a rail line to the site in October 2009. In 2001, DOE estimated the project�s costs at $57.5 billion, including funds spent since 1983.