weather icon Clear

Letter: Yucca Mountain advocacy tarnished

Recent “Community Viewpoints” these past two Friday’s in the Times reflect a myopic absolutism and mis-information about atomic power that has been characteristic of arguments against the Yucca Mountain repository for spent nuclear fuels (SNF’s).

Downplaying the ecological damage by Chernobyl and Fukushima detracts from the credibility of the Messrs. Gran and McCracken to plot a realistic future for nuclear fission and assess the risks of Yucca Mountain.

How electricity is to be generated and where to store SNF’s are two separate issues.

There are now many more fuel rods that need to be disposed of thanks to President Carter’s 1977 decision not to reprocess the waste. Yet it is Carter’s fellow Democrats led by Senator Reid who are most in denial about taking the last essential step for safely decommissioning over one hundred power plants around the country.

None of these plants were located with a view towards long-term geologic stability and a low water table for storing the rods onsite.

Rather it was proximity to a body of water for cooling their reactors, as well to barge in components for their construction.

So it is reckless for the Department of Energy to now propose either indefinite onsite storage, or shipping the SNF’s hither and yonder when nearly half the objections to the recent EIS filed by DOE concerned cross-country transportation of the SNF’s, not their final location.

Consider the Rancho Seco plant near Sacramento contracting with a firm in Texas to transport the SNF’s across Nevada and Utah for internment in a facility that cannot be as far above groundwater as Yucca Mountain.

Replicate this folly for over 100 reactors scattered around the country for an unimaginable security burden compared to what is needed to monitor shipments all headed to one single point.

Failure to complete the centralized repository is as much a calamity for the entire nation as it is a setback for Nye County.

Estimates for each utility to make their own arrangements range up to $250 billion for America’s ratepayers – several times more than what it would cost to have coordinated shipment via rail expanded to take all of the radioactive materials now going via truck through Pahrump into the Nevada Test Site.


Bill Stremmel

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Assemblyman Hafen: The time to pass President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement proposal is now

Nevada has been growing at a rapid rate, making it the fastest-growing state in the nation. Our business-friendly environment continues to bring new and exciting businesses, leading to an increase in both population and economic growth. Nevada’s companies are creating products and services, as well as finding new partnerships inside and outside of the United States.

Thomas Knapp: Voters say they want a third party

According to an October Rasmussen poll, 38% of likely voters say they intend to vote for “someone other than President Donald Trump or the Democratic presidential nominee” in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Tim Burke: How to make your brain AND your body happy

Somewhere between that third helping of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and that prime rib with potatoes and gravy from New Year’s Eve, the average American will gain anywhere from as little as one pound to as much as five pounds over the holidays.

Tim Burke: High-speed rail project may be just some California dreamin’

Thursday we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Our Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (pilgrims) of Plymouth and Native Americans.