Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Sun Editorial:

Reid: NRC decision pushes nuclear dump ‘closer to its rightful end’

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday ordered an agency panel to shut down its review of the federal government’s request to turn Nevada into a high-level nuclear waste dump.

Citing budgetary issues, the commission told the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to wrap up work by the end of the month on the Bush-era application to build the dump at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. That’s good news for Nevada, which has diligently been working to kill the dangerous plans for more than two decades.

Certainly, the project could be revived, but it would take an incredible effort to resuscitate it. Plagued by safety issues, technical woes and budget cuts, a Yucca repository has been moribund for years but still hangs on.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has led the fight against a Yucca repository, said the result of the NRC’s order is that it “brings Yucca closer to its rightful end.”

That end can’t come too soon.

Unfortunately, in its order, the NRC left the door open for the project. The commission was asked to review a decision by the board that said the Obama administration didn’t have the authority to withdraw the application to build the dump. A 2-2 vote by the NRC let the board’s decision stand. Nuclear power advocates who have been championing a Yucca repository saw the vote as a victory in their favor because it keeps the project alive.

But the NRC’s split decision wasn’t exactly a win for the nuclear industry, which is pushing a project that has been an embarrassment to the country. The federal government has spent billions of dollars trying to prove that it can safely transport high-level nuclear waste and then store it for thousands of years in Yucca Mountain, a volcanic ridge in the middle of an area known for earthquakes. The government has failed.

However, the nuclear power industry and its supporters in Congress have tried to keep the project alive. Now, they are pointing to the billions of dollars already spent to argue that the government shouldn’t abandon the project. That’s ludicrous. Why spend more money on a project that just doesn’t make sense?

As we have noted before, the plan is both dangerous and expensive. Enough is enough. It’s time for the project to be ended once and for all.

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  1. You seem to forget the citizens of Nevada who stand against this bad idea .Senator Reid has done exactly what the citizens of Nevada wanted . STOP THE DUMP !!!!!

  2. I really encourage the Republicans in Congress, specifically those from Washington and South Carolina, to keep spending oodles of money on lawsuits, hiring battalions of lawyers, paying exoribitant amounts of money for scientists and lobbyists to spout their agenda, and whatever miscellaneous costs are out there. I want that money spent on expensive stuff.

    I want them to go broke.

    Perhaps then and only then, after all that money is wasted on a Yucca Mountain Project pipedream, will they finally start to realize it's not only a waste of money, but a waste of time. Seems that's the only thing that will penetrate their brain pan cavity that we don't want Nevada turned into a nuclear waste toilet receptacle.

    I think it's incredibly hypocritical how the Republican Party, as a whole, talks they want to save money, starve the beast, austerity, fiscal conservatism, this spending needs to stop, and other buzzwords and catch slogans they like to spew.

    But now, here's Yucca.

    Money is no object all of a sudden.

    And besides that, the Republican Party enjoys trying to pound out messages that scientists are crazy and they don't know what they're talking about. An overwhelming majority of scientists believe and have proof that global warming effects are caused by what we humans do, that in fact the Earth is actually a living breathing entity, one that reacts to what happens around it, having far reaching consequences. But, the Republicans disavow that, turning to the five percent of quack scientists out there that try to debunk what is a truth.

    But now Yucca happens. All of a sudden they agree with any scientist out there that pleads a case to dump the most harmful substance known to mankind in a mountain 90 miles nortwest of Las Vegas. They are BLINDED by science all of a sudden. Because it FITS their agenda. Other than that, they could care less about scientists. Bunch of hypocrites.

    Yucca is dead. Rest in peace.

    Like the article says. Enough is enough. No means no. And it STILL means no.

    Nevada don't want this stuff. Bury it in Speaker Boehner's backyard over in Ohio somewhere. He'll watch over it. Especially if you throw money at him continuously.

  3. Keep it up we don't need jobs. All of the forigners (not york, not jersey, not mexico e.t.all ) can go home.