MONTPELIER, Vt. – The likely death of a planned nuclear waste site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain has left federal agencies looking for a possible replacement. A national lab working for the U.S. Department of Energy is now eyeing granite deposits stretching from Georgia to Maine as potential sites, along with big sections of Minnesota and Wisconsin where that rock is prevalent.

Three decades after the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act said the federal government would handle disposal of high-level radioactive waste, the United States still has no agreed-upon solution for where and how to dispose of about 70,000 metric tons of it. About 10 percent is from the military’s nuclear weapons programs; most of the rest is piling up at reactor sites around the country.

In 1986, the U.S. Energy Department chose the Sebago Lake batholith — a rock formation adjacent to the source of drinking water for Greater Portland — as a finalist site for a high-level nuclear waste dump. The Energy Department indefinitely suspended the siting process after its choice of the Maine location, as well as another finalist site in New Hampshire, generated massive opposition.

Amendments to the law in 1987 designated Yucca Mountain as the only potential site to be studied. But with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., vehemently opposed, Barack Obama’s administration last year directed the Energy Department to withdraw its license application for the site, which was filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The study done by the Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico received little notice when it was released in August. It said that with Yucca Mountain no longer in the picture, “other disposal environments in the U.S. are once again being investigated.”

Andrew Orrell, director of nuclear energy and fuel cycle programs at Sandia, said, “There is no leading candidate (among potential sites) of any kind, because there is no program at the moment for siting repositories.”

John Keeley of the Nuclear Energy Institute said there is also no effort in Congress to break the logjam.