Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Archive for the ‘nuclear waste’ Category

Dealing with Nuclear Waste: Canada Opts for Volunteerism

Posted by K.E. White on December 21, 2009

Should America emulate Canada when it comes to storing nuclear waste?

This Christian Science Monitor article explores Canada’s attempt to store its growing quantities of nuclear waste. Seeking to avoid Yucca Mountain fiascoes, Canada’s privately controlled effort hopes communities will volunteer to store nuclear waste.

From the article:

In the US, site selection has been a top-down affair, with politics playing a central role. In 1987, Congress passed a law ordering the Department of Energy to explore only one location, Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which billions in studies subsequently showed to be problematic. Nevada vehemently opposed the plan, as did Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada. President Obama canned the project earlier this year, leaving US nuclear waste policy in limbo.

Canada’s plan aims to avoid local resistance by requiring communities to ask to be considered as hosts for an underground repository. Volunteers will be given extensive information on the ecological risks and economic benefits of the repository, which is expected to cost between $16 billion and $24 billion. After public endorsement via referendum or other means, the community would become a candidate for extensive technical review.

“The only way that a community will be involved in the process is by it choosing to be involved,” says Mike Krizanc, spokesman for the NWMO, the entity charged with finding the site. “It will be an informed and willing community.”


Posted in nuclear waste | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Killing Yucca Mountain, One Cartoon Character at a Time

Posted by K.E. White on June 22, 2007



Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) is trying to kill Yucca Mountain Johnny.

While less known than Mickey Mouse, Mighty Mouse, or even the Planeteer Ma-Ti, Johnny had a profound mission: teaching America about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.

Rep. Berkley, failing to slash Yucca Mountain funding by $200 million, set her sights on the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain educational website.

‘‘Regardless of how you feel about Yucca Mountain,” Rep. Berkley penned in a letter to colleagues, “we should all agree that the Department of Energy’s use of a Joe Camel look-alike to influence children is an inappropriate use of taxpayer money.”

Last year the same motion failed. But in a fortuitous turn, it seems few legislators wanted to revisit this bruising political battle: her motion passed by a voice vote, without any debate.

Does Yucca Mountain Johnny look like Joe Camel, or does nuclear energy have the same addictive power as nicotine?

No. (Okay, okay—perhaps the French do suffer from a nuclear addiction)

Is Yucca Mountain Johnny (since 2005, he’s gone by J. Mo Jay) a bit biased?

Well, let’s look at the site’s “solution” for nuclear waste:

The scientists’ studies show that deep down in Yucca Mountain’s dry rock, the waste packages and drip shields will protect the waste for more than 80,000 years! (To give an idea of how long that is, the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids about 5,000 years ago.)

So did we solve the problem of storing nuclear waste?

Not exactly. Since we’re dealing with people’s safety, we must question whether the scientists’ studies and conclusions are correct and what would happen if they’re wrong. In addition, scientists must study things like what are the chances of earthquakes and volcanoes, and what would happen if something like this were to occur in the future.

s8603256_4662Nuclear waste is a problem—even for the French who uncharacteristically rioted upon discovering their prized nuclear program who require waste sites.

Johnny may look like a nuisance, but he doesn’t seem to be a liar.

Then again, what child would be caught dead on this dilapidated website?

But, let me close, by sending Johnny a personal message, inspired by Planeteer Ma-Ti. Don’t lose heart Johnny, don’t ever lose heart.

(original post from Campus Progress)

Posted in nuclear waste, Shelley Berkley, Yucca Mountain, Yucca Mountain Johnny | 4 Comments »