Skip to main content

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.
Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…