Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Yucca Mountain Update

From today's Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The two people who testified at Monday's public hearing on the proposed radiation safety standard for the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository had one thing in common: They're not worried about radioactive dangers because they've lived in the shadow of the Nevada Test Site for many years.

So, if they can survive 41 years of detonating more than 900 nuclear bombs, then they can endure 77,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel and highly radioactive waste tucked away inside the mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It doesn't matter, they said, if it's there for 10,000 or even 1 million years.

"This community has very little concern about the increase in radiation," Jan Cameron, chairwoman of the Amargosa Valley Town Advisory Board, said after making her comments to Environmental Protection Agency officials who traveled to this community of 1,400, the closest to the mountain.

"There is really very little likelihood of danger from Yucca Mountain," she said. "It doesn't mean there shouldn't be monitoring and they shouldn't be keeping an eye on it."

In testimony, she told the EPA panel that setting a 10,000-year standard "is iffy -- to try to define a standard for a million years passes ridiculous."
And in other Yucca Mountain-related news, back in Washington:
An order for the Department of Energy to post to the Internet its draft license application for Yucca Mountain was appealed on Monday.

Staff members for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission challenged the reasoning of a three-judge panel that sought to clarify the definition of draft paperwork for the proposed nuclear waste repository.

The judges said the Energy Department's 5,800-page draft license document met the definition and was required to be disclosed.
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