Sen. Reid retirement may ease way for nuclear site
The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is a deep geological repository and storage facility for spent nuclear reactor fuel and other high level radioactive waste. Located on remote federal land in Nevada, this repository was fully ready to receive all types of radioactive wastes in 2010. However, it was abruptly shut down by political pressure from Harry Reid, the powerful Senate majority leader from the state of Nevada.
Since the 2010 shut down, nuclear waste at all of the 103 nuclear power plants in our country has had to be retained and stored on site. The presence of all this accumulating highly reactive material at each plant makes them all the more vulnerable to accidents and/or terrorist attacks. In addition to storage from nuclear power plants, radioactive wastes from former nuclear bomb facilities such as Hanford have also been put on indefinite hold. Contaminated ground water from Hanford is now threatening to pollute the Columbia River.
The news that Harry Reid will soon be retiring from the Senate should give renewed hope that this urgently needed repository will again be back on a fast track. As to site safety, the Yucca facility is one of the most intensely studied pieces of geology in the world. It is now ready for immediate utilization, and it’s expedited use should receive universal support from the American public.
Norman A. Dixon, retired geologist