1. YUCCA MOUNTAIN
Shutdown scatters workers, sparks Nev. debate over 'clean energy' jobs
April Gil had worked at Yucca Mountain for more than 20 years when it closed in 2010, and like many of her colleagues, she had built her career -- and life -- around the decades-long effort to find a central storage place for U.S. nuclear waste. But Yucca's closure meant high-level technical jobs like Gil's disappeared almost overnight in Nevada, leaving many with a hard choice: local unemployment or a cross-country move. For Gil, a Department of Energy employee, the eventual outcome was a professional gain: She now works in DOE's Office of Legacy Management in what she calls her "dream job." But for many, the closure of Yucca meant fewer professional prospects in a state that has one of the nation's worst job markets.