I first wrote about this a year ago. The President of the United States of America has decided that Yucca Mountain should be removed from consideration as a place to store our spent nuclear fuel. Where he’d like it to go instead was a mystery until yesterday when this exchange between Senator Murray and Energy Secretary Chu was reported – for those of you who don’t care to click on the link, I’ll tell you the idea. They want to store the spent fuel in SALT DOMES.
Now, I am sure there are people who know a great deal more about this than I do, and perhaps SALT DOMES are the ideal nuclear repository. However, when you have spent BILLIONS of dollars and YEARS of time on Yucca Mountain, why go for something else at this point? When the plan has been in place for eight years? And in the planning stages for ten years before that? There is a place, in the middle of the desert, prepared to hold the detritus from over 50 years of nuclear work. It can be safely contained. No one gets hurt, not the yellow-tailed small-bottom gopher or some other obscure animal on the verge of extinction. People won’t be affected. The air and the water remains pure. They decided this YEARS ago. They spent the money to make sure it would be okay.
And now, in one fell swoop, the President wants to remove it from consideration.
I loved reading this article because the people they interviewed were far more articulate and less sputteringly angry about this than I am.
I especially like what Doc Hastings said –
“A unilateral decision to abandon Yucca Mountain without any justification and blocking it from ever being considered in the future is simply indefensible,”
And the following makes me laugh out loud –
“It is the secretary of energy’s judgment that scientific and engineering knowledge on issues relevant to disposition of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel has advanced dramatically over the 20 years since the Yucca Mountain project was initiated,” the DOE petition said.
Okay, I’ll buy that. In twenty years, there have been significant changes in in technology.
But, haven’t SALT DOMES always been around??