Skip to main content

Yucca Mountain and "What Might Have Been"

Bob McCracken from Nye County in Nevada has kept track for years a list of benefits Nevada could have enjoyed for hosting used nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain. In response to the Obama Administration's recent decision to cut funding to Yucca Mountain, Bob decided to lay it all out on what might have been:
...

The original Yucca Mountain legislation included a provision by which Nevada could negotiate with the federal government for benefits as compensation for accepting the repository. Nevada totally ignored this provision.

* If Yucca Mountain had been built, its construction would have generated thousands of high-paying jobs in Southern Nevada and hundreds of permanent positions once the facility was in operation.

* Nye County could have collected large sums for property taxes on Yucca Mountain and its associated support industries into the indefinite future. So large was the Yucca Mountain project, one could have purchased the entire Las Vegas Strip and more for its planned cost.

* At one point Nevada was informally offered the superconducting supercollider, the world's largest particle accellerator, that the United States wanted to build 20 years ago, valued at between $4 and $10 billion, for accepting Yucca Mountain.

...

* Nevada was also offered a high-speed super train between Los Angeles and Las Vegas as part of the supercollider offer. Its value would have been at least $5 billion, probably closer to $10 billion. Think what that would have done to bring in the tourists and alleviate area transportation woes. The train could have seeded America with advanced train technology; instead, that is the domain of Europe and Asia. Go overseas if you want to ride a fast train.

* At one point, Nevada was offered a multi-billion-dollar nuclear medicine and energy research facility to be connected with UNLV and housed on the Nevada Test Site for accepting the repository. That, like the other offers, was dead on arrival. How many cancer patients would be alive today if the offer had been accepted?

...

* Nye County could have been a world-class site for development and dissemination of science and technology information on nuclear power and other clean energy sources.

...
And the list goes on ...

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…