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Rep. John Shimkus on Yucca Mountain: Can You Hear Me Now?

Rep. John Shimkus
You can't find a more passionate supporter of the Yucca Mountain repository on Capitol Hill than Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.). For years, Shimkus has been a champion of electricity rate payers who have been dutifully contributing to the Nuclear Waste Fund only to see the Federal government continually fail to fullfill its obligations under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

Earlier today, the Chicago Tribune published an op-ed by the dogged Rep. Shimkus entitled, "Nuclear waster: The name is Yucca Mountain." Though the full text of the article is behind one of those dreaded paywalls, we've excerpted a few choice passages for your reading pleasure.
After spending $15 billion analyzing it [Yucca Mountain], the Department of Energy in 2008 finally filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission an application for a license to build and operate the project. Numbering nearly 10,000 pages, the application addressed every imaginable question of safety and environmental protection. 

Later that year the tide turned. Then-Sen. Barack Obama promised to do what he could to halt Yucca Mountain. Procedural maneuvers in Congress and at the NRC helped Obama make good on that promise, even though the votes were still there to support the project in the House and the Senate. 

Since then, some stakeholders and policymakers have asked, "Why don't we step back from the Yucca Mountain standoff and start looking for an alternative?" Because we share a sense of urgency to resolve the issue, my colleagues and I who have spent years working on this issue have carefully reviewed these ideas.

However, a close look confirms our belief that building a repository at Yucca Mountain would still be the fastest, best and most viable solution.

{...]

We are all frustrated by the failure to dispose of nuclear waste on the timetable provided in current law. However, assessing the pros and cons of interim storage, it does not seem to offer either economic or safety benefits. It would divert time, effort and resources away from actually solving the waste problem once and for all. Citizens want a sound nuclear policy and a safe solution for spent nuclear fuel disposal. The current law focusing on the Nevada project remains the best solution and, in time, the most likely to succeed.
Rep. Shimkus doesn't only deal with Yucca Mountain in print, he also makes a point of talking about it on the floor of the house with some frequency. Here's one statement from March 20, 2013:


There are others that you can find on the congressman's YouTube channel.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I hear you Rep. Shimkus, but I don't like what I'm hearing (adult text in video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5yNZ1U37sE

Do you really want to promote Yucca Mountain using someone who thinks there was a global flood, a talking snake, and zombies?

Bob Applebaum
SteveK9 said…
I'm a strong supporter of nuclear power, but I'm sorry to have to say that Shimkus is a moron. Generally I think Yucca has just become one of those memes that team GOP thinks is a good way to beat up Obama.

The reason Yucca has been fought is that the people of Nevada don't want it. I'm not much of a fan of Harry Reid either, but he is representing his constituents. Why don't the people there want it? Well, for years Nevada was considered our internal waste land, suitable for setting off atomic explosion in the atmosphere and later underground. When it came time to dispose of spent fuel, Nevada was not asked. Other people decided, 'hey it is already a radioactive dump, let's throw the (fill in the blank) there'. No wonder they are opposed.

At the end of the day, it won't really matter whether we have a repository or not. We will burn all this stuff in deep-burn, or breeder reactors. It's perfectly safe where it is and can sit there, or perhaps a regional site (above ground) until we need it.
Anonymous said…
Why doesn't Shimkus just have God make the waste disappear?

That's his plan for climate change: God will handle it.

I know the Nuke industry needs allies, but to place your hopes on such an anti-science/anti-reason individual is nuts.

"A video of Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) is making its way around the Internet. In the two-and-a-half minute clip (posted below), Shimkus uses scripture to explain his belief that the Earth will end only when, “God declares it is time to be over.” Shimkus then continues to quote the Book of Mark, saying: “Man will not destroy this Earth, and this Earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

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