Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

How safe will nuclear waste really be?

It was no surprise Friday when a federal appeals court rejected Nevada's arguments against building a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain.

The decision leaves in place the Bush administration's plan to store 77,000 tons of highly radioactive waste, mostly from spent reactor fuel from the nation's commercial power plants, at the Nevada facility.

What is surprising, however, is the fact that in the same ruling, the court ordered the government to develop a plan to protect the public against radiation releases beyond the 10,000 years it has already promised.

The question is are we sure that the Department of Energy plans will, indeed, protect the public from radiation exposure for the next 10,000 years? Is there sufficient science to be able to prove such a statement at this point? Would 20,000 years be enough?

This radioactive material is something that the National Academy of Sciences has told us can be dangerous for up to 300,000 years.

Las Vegas, one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country, is only 90 miles away from the Yucca Mountain facility. An innocent Southern Utah population that was unconscionably drenched with nuclear fallout during the detonations at the Nevada Test Site sits just a little farther downwind. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 15,000 people nationwide were killed by fallout from the Nevada Test Site.

What disasters -- manmade or natural -- can this storage site handle? How can we truly know what kinds of weapons or other dangers will be in place 10,000 years from now? Worst of all, if something goes wrong at Yucca Mountain, will this corner of the planet even be habitable 10,000 years from now?

Excuse us for being suspicious, but we've been down this road before.

That's why we strongly support our neighboring state and encourage our state and local leaders to join in the fight against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issuing a license for the Yucca Mountain facility.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Make connections via our GROUPS page.
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

Tags:  

Energy Crunch: The end of business as usual for fossil fuels?

It’s the end of business as usual for fossil fuels. That’s …

Peak oil notes - April 17

A mid-week update. Oil prices in London have risen this week on concerns …

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued …

Kashagan – Back to the drawing board?

The recent shutdown of Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan represents one …

King Coal Is Dying a Slow Death in America

In cities choked by pollution and a world coming to grips with the realities …

Peak Oil Review - Apr 14

A weekly review including: Oil and the Global Economy, The Middle East & …

Did crude oil production actually peak in 2005?

Haven't we been hearing from the oil industry and from government and …