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Open the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

The Washington Post is right: "Put Yucca Mountain to work. The nation needs it."

YuccaMountainDOEDOEHurray for the editorial board at the Washington Post! On Sunday, they published a op-ed forthrightly urging Congress and the Trump administration to move forward on opening the long-stalled Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada.

"It's past time the opposition was sidelined for good," the op-ed declares. "The nation's nuclear regulators have found that technical hurdles can be overcome; the biggest barriers to developing the site are political. Congress should re-fund Yucca Mountain and finally end this gratuitous fight."

More than 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel is being stored at nuclear power plants scattered across the countryside. It wasn't supposed to be that way. The plan was to send it all to the Yucca Mountain which was slated to open in 1998.

Since 1982, some $15 billion has been spent on preliminary study and work on the facility. Every environmental impact assessment has found that the repository would be safe for people and the environment. Opposed by environmental activists and the Nevada congressional delegation the facility was mothballed in 2010 by the Obama administration.

Now the Trump administration has asked congress to appropriate $120 million to restart the licensing process for the facility. In late June, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 49 to 4 on a bill that would move along the stalled Yucca Mountain approval process.

Next up: Trump should appoint Nuclear Regulatory Commission members who actually favor nuclear power and direct them to cut through the regulatory embellishments that are stymieing the development of new and safer nuclear power plants.

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  • Juice||

    Or we could start reprocessing spent fuel. Maybe.

  • CE||

    Just sell it to the highest bidder.

  • Juice||

    $120 million to restart the licensing process

    Gotta love the government.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    And the day after it's approved, CNN's news scroll will report "Trump authorizes 77,000 tons on nuclear waste to be dumped on ground near Las Vegas"

  • CE||

    And they only spent $150,000 on the study to arrive at the $120 million number.

  • timbo||

    "But evil corporations want to make profits off of cheap energy.

    That and the polar bears and climate change.....we need solar and wind power."

    With that depth of intellect, is there any need to even discuss the benefits of nuclear power? These same zombies have no idea that nothing bad even happened at 3 Mile Island.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    One of my favorite factoids is that more people were killed by robots in 1979 (1) than were killed by the Three Mile Island accident (0).

  • timbo||

    But that shit got hot for a while. Best remedy: create an army of regulators and new jobs via massive expansion of Washington.

    Situation: solved

    On a side note, this is precisely why I put very little credence in Musk's dire warnings of AI's ability to outsmart man. Me thinks he is angling for some protectionism down the road al a Al Gore scaremongering.

  • DJK||

    I put very little credence in anything that comes out of Musk's mouth.

  • timbo||

    He's a bullshit artist of the highest magnitude.

  • CE||

    Musk is right about the AI threat, but wrong that government regulation is the way to stop it. If the US govt outlaws AI research, other countries with less fearful governments will allow it to develop and will crush our backward economy.

  • albo||

    As a 17-year-old who lived within 20 miles of the plant at the time, I can tell you that there were more cars totaled by drunk kids driving home from We're All Gonna Die parties a bunch of my classmates were holding during the crisis than died from radiation.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Was that before or after Carter visited Three Mile Island?

    The guy's administration was a mess, but he got that visit right.

  • CE||

    Carter was a nuclear engineer as well as a peanut farmer.

  • IceTrey||

    And a submarine captain.

  • colorblindkid||

    Nobody has died from Fukushima radiation. 14,000+ died on the tsunami and hundreds died in the mostly unnecessary evacuation of Fukushima.

  • CE||

    If all that nuclear waste is so harmless, why not just leave it where it is instead of shipping it to Nevada?

  • IceTrey||

    No one says it's harmless.

  • albo||

    Sure, but what does this issue have to so with the rights of trans people to have gender reveal parties? C'mon, man, get your social priorities in line!

  • timbo||

    Your exactly right albo. I forgot my job as an American is to be distracted daily from important things by pointless made up issues.

    Back to tranny marches and Russian this and that.

  • Joao||

    NOPE. Each plant should have a plan for storage (even long-term), whether Yucca happens or not.

    Prob w that is that the state can shut u down by not allowing reprocess or other dump. Their loss. Others gain.

  • albo||

    Each plant is ALREADY storing spent fuel. You prefer lots of these waste pools scattered around the country than putting all the bad shit in one safe place where we can keep an eye on it?

  • timbo||

    "appropriate $120 million to restart the licensing process" -

    Why does anything cost this much again?

  • albo||

    They gotta clean up all the beer bottles and graffiti left by partiers who used Yucca Mountain while it was on hold.

  • Spartacus||

    It's a long, expensive process to apply to yourself to get your own permission for something.

  • Tony||

    Good. But it remains a puzzlement that libertarians love nuclear power so much considering you could plausibly make a nuclear power plant the symbol of statism, while solar power is by nature decentralized and far more entrepreneurial.

    By statist I mean nuclear power was invented by the state, feeds into a centralized (government-run) grid as a public utility, its risks must be underwritten by the state for a plant to be viable in the first place, and they still require subsidies and grants for any company to bother taking them on, and finally, the issue discussed here, all the land-use issues that crop up.

    Yeah pretty damn statist.

  • timbo||

    "But evil corporations want to make profits off of cheap energy.

    That and the polar bears and climate change.....we need solar and wind power."

    That didn't take long.

    Thanks dopey.

  • Tony||

    Maybe rub a couple brain cells together and address the point. I'd hate to think you people were unprincipled tribal morons.

  • Finrod||

    I saw Unprincipled Tribal Morons open for Led Zeppelin once.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    nuclear power was invented by the state,

    So what?

    feeds into a centralized (government-run) grid as a public utility

    Privatize the grid

    its risks must be underwritten by the state for a plant to be viable in the first place

    Why?

    and they still require subsidies and grants for any company to bother taking them on

    Mostly due to the cost of federal compliance and regulations run amok.

  • Tony||

    We could operate a windmill with all the hand-waving you're doing.

    Nuclear power is dangerous in a big 'splosiony kind of way. No private entity would ever take on the risk by itself. It cannot, ever, exist as a product of free-market capitalism. The free market would simply bypass it, as it does anything that requires significant investment in basic research or significant enough liability. Not to repeat myself, but it's an odd fucking thing for libertarians to constantly be whoring for--while you piss on the much less statist alternatives because somebody gave them a subsidy once.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The free market would simply bypass it, as it does anything that requires significant investment in basic research or significant enough liability.

    You mean like pharmaceutical R&D and distribution?

  • Tony||

    Like how they'll R&D pills you have to take the rest of your life but not so much ones that will cure you.

    I don't know why it's such a controversial idea that profit motive isn't behind literally everything good that happens. Everyone knew that already forever until your silly little philosophy came along.

  • Ron Bailey||

    T: Asking for a reasonable regulatory regime is not "whoring for" nuclear, and especially not for technologies such as thorium reactors. You wouldn't be accused of whoring for wind and solar power?

  • Tony||

    I have no problem with government subsidies directed to specific ends, not being a libertarian.

  • IceTrey||

    Except that molten salt reactors are walk away safe.

  • Finrod||

    You mean solar power that uses rare earth elements that thanks to US regulation are only mined in China by criminal gangs that pollute horribly?

    That notorious right-wing rag, the New York Times, has the story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12.....6rare.html

    Yeah. Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    But it remains a puzzlement that libertarians love nuclear power so much considering you could plausibly make a nuclear power plant the symbol of statism, while solar power is by nature decentralized and far more entrepreneurial.

    If I'm not mistaken, hammers, sickles, stars, and fists can plausibly be made into symbols of statism and at least a couple of them are explicitly individually identified.

    Anybody could conceivably collect enough uranium to run a reactor the same way anybody could set up an array of mirrors to act as a death ray or use a solar steam plant to contaminate the ground water...

  • IceTrey||

    I'm pretty sure Einstein discovered nuclear power.

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