Nuke Waste Disposal Official Quits
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Benard Rusche, head of the federal government’s effort to establish a civilian nuclear waste repository, resigned Tuesday, the Energy Department said.
Rusche, 56, will not leave right away, said spokewoman Ginger King, but will try to ensure passage of a measure promising $100 million to the state that accepts the planned first respository for highly radioactive waste from civilian power reactors and from weapons manufacturing.
That measure was attached to the energy appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. The Senate Energy Committee chairman, Sen. Bennett Johnston, D-La., and ranking Republican, James McClure of Idaho, are the principal sponsors.
″He’d like to move that to fruition. He’s confident that will ensure that the waste program will proceed,″ said Ms. King.
Rusche expects to leave the department sometime in October, she said.
Rusche was the first director of nuclear reactor regulation at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving in that post from 1975 to 1977. He was an executive with the DuPont Co. and head of his own consulting firm before joining the Energy Department in 1984.
The department has singled out possible repository sites on the government’s nuclear reservation at Hanford, Wash., in Yucca Mountain on the weapons test range in southwestern Nevada and in Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle.