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At last night’s GOP debate, a question was asked about Yucca Mt, the long delayed repository for spent nuclear waste. All the candidates displayed a woeful lack of courage, failing to clearly state that it is a national imperative that Yucca Mt. be brought on-line as soon as possible.
Nevadans oppose Yucca Mt. Polls have demonstrated that over and over. Those on the stage attemptd to curry favor with Nevadans, bu saying that it’s a “state’s rights” issue, or that Nevada shoudl have the right to negotiate its own deal, get the best possible terms it can from the other states, in return for being the nation’s nuclear garbage dump.
This is a false argument, on many fronts.
First of all, it’s not like there are a great many suitable sites, for a host of reasons. Geological stability, and distance from populated areas are paramount. Yucca is by the best, if not the only suitable location.
Second, it is on FEDERAL land. The feds should be sensitive to local concerns, but they cannot allow themselves to be held hostage by them. Otherwise, NIMBY will always trump any rational argument.
Third, it is beyond idiotic that Yucca isn’t utilized because of fear/safety concerns of some Nevadans, but it’s OK for hundreds of millions of Americans to be a considerable risk while tons of spent fue rods lie around in shallow water reservoirs, which are totally inadequate for the job, and not at all secure from threats.
So our politicians once again wan to bury their heads in the sand, ignore the proble, punt, kick it down the road, and leave it for the next guy. We’ve seen that with entitlements, and federal spending, and now we’re in a near crisis mode.
However, just one little mishap with any of the sites scattered around the country, and the consequences are immediate, far greater, and could last for thousands of years.
Most of those attempting to keep Yucca Mt closed have another agenda. They are totally against nuclear power in any form. And this is one path they are using to make sure that no new reactors are built, and existing ones are closed.
Let’s have the debate on nuclear power, as part of the discussion on energy indepence. But right now we have a large, and growing problem, and the GOP candidates displayed cowardice in how they addressed it, or rather, didn’t.
Doesn’t augur well for how they might handle a crisis while they’re in the WH.