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YUCCA MOUNTAIN, UNITED STATES: STORY MATCHER-This undated image obtained 22 February, 2004 shows a rail tunnel descending into the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository located in Nye County, Nevada, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain is the US Department of Energy's potential geologic repository designed to store and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. By the year 2010, If all licenses are granted, the facility will begin receiving casks of spent atomic fuel from aircraft carriers, submarines and power plants and will eventually become the largest repository of nuclear waste in the world. The eight-kilometer (five-mile) long underground gallery has 12 alcoves dug out along its length that serve as laboratories. Here, rock is measured for consistency and water content, heated and frozen, and every crack is closely watched. A 60-to-80-kilometer (40-to-50 mile) long grid of tunnels will be excavated through Yucca Mountain's core to house hermetically sealed containers holding up to 77,000 tons of deadly waste. (Photo credit should read MAXIM KNIAZKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

YUCCA MOUNTAIN, UNITED STATES:  STORY MATCHER-This undated image obtained 22 February, 2004 shows a rail tunnel descending into the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository located in Nye County, Nevada, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain is the US Department of Energy's potential geologic repository designed to store and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. By the year 2010, If all licenses are granted, the facility will begin receiving casks of spent atomic fuel from aircraft carriers, submarines and power plants and will eventually become the largest repository of nuclear waste in the world. The eight-kilometer (five-mile) long underground gallery has 12 alcoves dug out along its length that serve as laboratories. Here, rock is measured for consistency and water content, heated and frozen, and every crack is closely watched.  A 60-to-80-kilometer (40-to-50 mile) long grid of tunnels will be excavated through Yucca Mountain's core to house hermetically sealed containers holding up to 77,000 tons of deadly waste.       (Photo credit should read MAXIM KNIAZKOV/AFP/Getty Images)