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Yucca Mountain Costs Rise Again

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This Yucca Mountain thing grows increasingly surreal. It's beyond my belief that the thing will ever be built, but I don't really see how it will die, either. The result is this game of pretend where we all act like we're really trying to build it, or really trying to stop it from being built, in what has become an almost reflexive, ritualized routine. Today's story, by AP business writer Dan Caterinicchia, details the latest budget discussions:

The proposed nuclear-waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada will need up to three times its current funding or the program's 2017 opening date will have to be delayed, a top Energy Department official said Thursday.

"Based on our recently completed program schedule and cost estimate, annual funding will be needed at levels two to three times the current appropriations" starting next year, Edward F. Sproat III, director of the agency's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management said in prepared testimony before the House Budget Committee.