While most of the political attention on nuclear power is recently on shoring up plants for seismic safety and halting federal license extensions, a House hearing was the stage for reviewing the Obama administration\u2019s decision to abandon the plan for the Yucca Mountain, NV, nuclear waste facility. The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power, and Subcommittee on Environment & the Economy May 4 grilled Nuclear Regulatory Commission members on the details of why they cancelled the proposed high-level nuclear waste dump. A California representative attempted to turn the gravity to seismic hazards for relicensing Diablo Canyon. The air went out of Rep. Lois Capps\u2019 (D-CA) pleas to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for halting extending licenses for aging nuclear plants as lawmakers pressed regulators over the wisdom of closing the potential Yucca Mountain facility. \u201cIt\u2019s a real nice hole in a mountain,\u201d said Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), invoking the cost of the shut down repository. The Republican side appeared to be setting a framework for NRC missteps in order to reopen the Yucca Mountain plan. Instead of building the facility--which is shunned by host state Nevada politicians and questioned by nuclear engineers for safety--NRC chair Greg Jaczko said regulators are looking at a \u201clonger timeframe, 200-300-400 years\u201d to figure the best way to handle nuclear power plant waste. If built, Yucca Mountain would be the repository for high-level nuclear waste from nuclear plants in California and across the nation. Ratepayers pay into a fund to develop long-term radioactive storage. At present, the fund holds $38.5 billion, with California\u2019s contributions at $873 million, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. California utilities are litigating against the federal government over that contribution because it\u2019s not in use. \u201cIn essence, it\u2019s mothballed,\u201d said Jaczko. The federal budget allowed $10 million for NRC funding to shut down its Yucca Mountain-related activities this year. There is no funding for 2012, according to Jazcko. On relicensing, Capps asked Jaczko why--after a month--the commission did not respond to her request to halt Diablo Canyon\u2019s relicensing effort. Jaczko said it would take another month to give formal feedback.