Nuclear fission will continue to play an increasingly important role in meeting our energy needs in the short term (say over the next 50 years). There is just no other energy source presently available that can replace fossil fuels fast enough.
We have created large quantities of nuclear waste that will take tens of thousands of years to decay. Yucca mountain storage for 20,000 years is not a viable solution. Civilizations do not last tens of thousands of years.
The PUREX reprocessing cycle recovers only uranium and plutonium and extracts only 5% of the energy potential of the initial uranium or thorium fuel.
PUREX processing produces pure uranium and plutonium that can be used to make bombs.
Pyrometallic reprocessing combined with generation VI reactors can extract 95% of the potential energy from nuclear fuel, producing only 5% of the waste which decays to safe levels in 300 years instead of 20,000. Uranium, plutonium and the rest of the actinides are extracted together. This combination can then be re-used in a sodium cooled fast reactor but is unsuitable for nuclear weapons.
After the actinides are extracted from spent fuel the remaining waste consists of fission products which decay to safe levels within 300 years.
Yucca mountain would make an excellent location for a generation IV reactor farm. The repository was already designed to contain wastes for ten thousand years, it could also contain a potential nuclear accident should the reactors not live up to the safety expectations of their designers.
By locating a large number of reactors in one location we can reduce the overall expense of the operation. The same reprocessing facilities can be used to process spent fuel for all the reactors eliminating any risks associated with the transportation of high level radioactive wastes and the fission products that will be left can be stored on site. When it is time for the reactors to be decommissioned, they too will already be at a nuclear waste storage facility.
I encourage you to write your congress critters and suggest this. An energy rich America will be an economically prosperous America, and we can export this technology to foreign countries reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation abroad will allowing it’s use for power generation displacing fossil fuel power generation and greenhouse gases.