The Yuca Mountain: The Problem Of The Yucca Mountain Project

1547 Words 7 Pages
The Yucca Mountain Project
Nuclear waste is a problem that plagues the United States due to dilemmas surrounding its handling. A scientific consensus shows that the best way to get rid of nuclear waste is through geological disposal, however, this method creates several barriers. Geological disposal includes storing nuclear waste in an underground repository site in hopes of it being contained without the need of surveillance for thousands of years. Due to the fact that nuclear waste contains high levels of radioactivity, the search for a repository site has been very challenging. For decades, the Department of Energy (DOE) has scouted for a location to discard the hazardous waste and has come to believe that Yucca Mountain is the best solution.
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Proponents for the Yucca Mountain project state that without the construction of a repository, there would be no place to store the hazardous waste that is constantly being produced. Fearing that the Three Mile Island nuclear waste accident would happen again, proponents for the repository site are constantly asking for a quicker solution to waste management. On the other hand, advocates against the Yucca Mountain project have referred to the proposition as the “‘Screw Nevada Bill’ because opponents argue that Yucca Mountain was chosen for political reasons” (Endres, 2009). Nevadans and politicians representing the state have constantly fought for the Yucca Mountain project to be terminated because of various issues surrounding state rights. Arguments have included the fact that the Department of Energy has disregarded citizen concerns and have not done enough research to prove that the project is safe and can withstand breaking down. Additionally, other activist groups such as the native Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute leaders have voiced that the DOE is violating treaty agreements by proposing this project. The DOE responded by continuing to state that many factors such as geology, location, technology is suffice in guaranteeing precautions are met (Endres, 2009). Despite the DOE providing some evidence suggesting that the repository is safe, many have accused them of falsifying information …show more content…
Granted that the high level waste material is being transported using specially designed containers, the risks are still very prominent. Activists against the repository have consistently argued that the transportation of the waste poses a threat to the safety of Nevadans. The safety issue looks at the fact that accidents may occur upon transportation, moreover, terrorists could target the waste material as a means of orchestrating an attack. Also, the Yucca Mountain Project is relatively close to Nevada’s highly populated and economically dominant city of Las Vegas. The creation of a potentially dangerous repository site could greatly affect tourist interest in Las Vegas which will consequently affect Nevada’s economy. (Garrick, 2002) Ultimately, these issues continue to challenge the advancement of the Yucca Mountain Project and the fate the ever developing supply of nuclear waste is still uncertain. The push to reform this proposition regarding nuclear waste is essential to the wellbeing of Nevadans. All of the concerns facing the repository site are very valid and should be addressed extensively before any plans of construction are even purposed. Luckily for Nevadans, many decisions up to date have been in favor of halting the Yucca Mountain Project until further evidence proves

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