Located in arid southern Nevada about 110 miles west of Las Vegas, Yucca Mountain is the site favoured by the Department of Energy (DOE) for the permanent storage of US high-level nuclear wastes. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 had devised a disposal scheme entailing two sites: one in the east and one in the west. Political opposition killed the plan for an eastern site, and geological factors ruled out two other prospective western sites. In tunnels bored deep into Yucca Mountain, the DOE has maintained that optimal conditions exist for safe storage of nuclear wastes for 10,000 years. Opponents have argued that the mountain is prone to earthquakes, has a geological history of vulcanism, and is more permeable to water than expected. While scientific studies have been underway, congressional allies of the nuclear lobby have sought to authorize an above-ground interim storage facility. Citizen groups have opposed their plan as 'Mobile Chernobyl' since it would mandate thousands of truck- and rail-cask shipments of highly radioactive wastes across 43 states. Accidents would seem inevitable over the anticipated 30 years of shipping. Environmentalists have maintained that the wastes can be stored more safely at the power plants, awaiting the development of technological solutions with lower environmental and financial costs. The election of President George W. Bush has increased the odds that Yucca Mountain will receive nuclear wastes.