The plan to revive Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility will involve movement of nuclear waste from power plants through Colorado. That is the immediate issue. The long term issue is the fact that nuclear power is being touted as a cost effective alternative to fossil fuels but the cost of long term storage of nuclear “waste” is not included in this cost per kilowatt hour. Nor is the cost of liability for clean up from a power plant disaster. Who is the bearer of this cost? YOU ARE. (Check out the Price-Anderson Act) And this also includes the cost of long term storage of nuclear “waste” from the production of new nuclear weapons. (The National Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) now plan “capitalizing” a new production system at two locations for up to 80 Plutonium Pits per year. This is a part of a 1.2 Trillion dollar “modernization” of our nuclear bomb capabilities. Useable nuclear weapons to come.) Yet the nuclear industry–military and civilian– have yet no clue how to responsibly care for all their plutonium waste for the next 240,000 years. Scientists, by the way, say there is no evidence that the current supply of plutonium pits is in anyway losing effectiveness over time and certify their reliability for at least 80 more years. Yes that includes all the decommissioned warheads in storage.
Nuclear waste issue divides candidates
By Michael Coleman / Journal Washington Bureau
Friday, May 11th, 2018 at 12:05am
WASHINGTON – A U.S. House vote on Thursday to revive Yucca Mountain as a
repository for nuclear waste in Nevada revealed the different views of
two candidates for governor of New Mexico on storing the waste
temporarily in the state.
The House approved legislation 340-72 that would jump-start the
long-mothballed nuclear waste facility in Nevada, despite the opposition
of Nevada lawmakers. Under the House bill, an interim storage site would
be created to store the waste before it is permanently disposed of in
Holtec International has applied for an interim storage license for a
site in Lea County in southeastern New Mexico. The Eddy-Lea Energy
Alliance, a long-standing consortium of the cities of Carlsbad and
Hobbs, and Lea and Eddy counties, is backing the move, with some
community support. Backers of putting an interim storage site in New
Mexico point to economic development and jobs that would result.
Opponents cast it as a safety hazard that expands New Mexico’s role as a
nuclear dumping ground. The nation’s nuclear industry is in search of
new places to put spent nuclear fuel, which is being housed in makeshift
sites at reactors around the country.
Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican running for governor of New Mexico,
voted for the bill Thursday. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat
also running for governor, voted against it. Pearce characterized the
bill as good for national security.
“This project, with community support, would continue to cement New
Mexico as a national leader in nuclear energy production, development
and disposal,” Pearce said after the vote. “I’ve always supported an
all-of-the-above energy plan that unleashes America’s domestic energy
production, and a part of that includes safely storing spent nuclear
fuel to advance our nation’s defense strategy.”
Lujan Grisham said that if Holtec was licensed as a temporary storage
facility and then Yucca Mountain never opened, New Mexico would be stuck
with the waste.
“This bill will only create more uncertainty by creating a dangerous
loophole that could permanently strand nuclear waste in New Mexico
without any guarantee that a long-term strategy will eventually be
agreed upon,” Lujan Grisham said. “Storing and transporting nuclear
waste is incredibly dangerous. Singling out New Mexico and Nevada, and
making massive policy changes based purely on political considerations
is completely irresponsible.”
The nuclear industry has said temporary storage is a critical need
because reopening Yucca Mountain would take years or even decades.
Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program and
administrator at the Southwest Research and Information Center in
Albuquerque, said the bill approved by the House on Thursday would
expand potential nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain from 63,000
metric tons to 110,000 metric tons. He also said it would shift
temporary storage costs from private industry to taxpayers.
The bill now goes to the Senate and Nevada’s senators have vowed to try
to derail it.