Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nevada Attorney Endorses Private Takeover of Yucca Mountain Project

Our Yucca Mountain point person, Steve Kraft, shot me a short note about this past Friday's Foundation for Nuclear Studies luncheon on the status of Yucca Mountain.

Mike Voegele spoke on behalf of the Yucca Mountain Project and Marty Malsch, an attorney representing Nevada, spoke against the project. It was pretty much a ho-hum affair, Steve told me, with little newsworthy said, except at the end.

In answer to questions, Voegele clarified what happened with those three USGS scientists who falsified quality assurance (QA) documents in the 1999 -- 2000 time frame. He pointed out that he personally reviewed the information in question and said that while QA documents were falsified, none of the science and none of the data were falsified. In fact, he a said that the most talked about matter -- the two data notebooks -- was a great case in point. The only difference between the books was that one met the QA requirements for format, etc., while the other did not. Both notebooks contained the same data. This is a far cry from what the media has been saying, where I have seen many references to falsified science -- which is not accurate.

Malsch countered with questioning how many chances would DOE get to make the QA correct. "How many strikes is out -- seven?" This lead to a question about privatizing the project. Malsh responded "While this is my opinion -- not Nevada's -- geologic disposal is OK as a concept." He went on to say that a successful geological repository program will require taking the program out of DOE and having the private sector take it over.
Interesting.

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