Yucca Mt. Dump Plan Still Unworkable
JACKASS FLATS, NV -- The DOE's Aug. 6 draft environmental impact statement admits that major issues are not understood well enough to allow Yucca Mt. to be used for deep underground dumping of irradiated (spent) fuel rods from nuclear reactors.
Claiming "very little radiation would leak from the site," DOE dump advocates don't inspire much confidence.
Sr. engineer Michael Voegele said, "We think we can handle the uncertainty." The question is, can the public handle it?
The DOE report claims that using Yucca Mt. would be "as safe as, and much cheaper" than monitoring the wastes where they are now accumulating -- at 72 commercial and five federal sites across the country. Critics flatly deny these claims.
Dr. Arjun Makhijani, Pres. of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, says the Yucca Mt. project is "driven not by environmental protection but by politics and artificial legal deadlines."
IEER proposes monitored on-site storage in order to address more urgent waste problems. "For instance, the most environmentally threatening transuranic [heavier than uranium] waste was dumped in shallow landfills prior to 1970 at various DOE sites. These leaking waste dumps have contaminated large volumes of soil and are threatening important water resources."
--New York Times, Aug. 7 & 10, 1999;
"Considering the Alternatives", IEER's Science for Democratic Action, May 1999.