The absurdity of the position Nevada politicians have taken on Yucca Mountain is astounding. Yucca Mountain would not only be a safe and secure place for spent fuels and other radioactive materials, it would also be an economic boom for Nevada.
As a nuclear engineer and a person technically knowledgeable in waste management, nuclear fuels and related nuclear power issues, I believe we are not acting rationally with regard to the true risks of proceeding with this project. The risks associated with well-designed storage deep in Yucca Mountain are minimal.
I started my nuclear career at the Nevada Test Site with open atmospheric weapons testing — a concept I would totally oppose today. But by opposing Yucca Mountain, we are rejecting help to our nation even though we have a perfect site for nuclear storage. We are turning away the opportunity to help solve the fuel storage issue — it is more dangerous to have spent fuels distributed all around the country at plant sites — and wasting a truly huge economic opportunity for our state.
Why not start acting rationally and put our trust in technology — with, of course, strong oversight — instead of trusting emotional and unfounded rhetoric from the anti-everything activists about nonexistent risks?
Those who say we are not going to accept nuclear garbage should look at the true value of the materials in the spent fuel and the likelihood that future projects could recover and use these materials for the benefit of mankind. These materials are anything but nuclear garbage.