Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository: Shut Down

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth_Yuthura, Mar 27, 2010.

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  1. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    It's not as simple as that. The reason Nevada was chosen was specifically because it is so remote and ideal for housing nuclear waste for the next 10,000 years. It's not just the location, but the foundation in which has to be considered. Investing in two additional sites would essentially add another ten billion a piece, assuming that they each cost the same and the Yucca Mountain facility opened at 10 billion as it is.

    All things considered, the total quantity of waste produced by all American reactors is rather small when you get down to it. Compared to a single gigawatt coal plant, which generates about 200,000 tons of waste ash a year, the sum of about a hundred reactors over the course of sixty years is quite small. That 59,000 tons of radioactive waste is really that enormous. It makes the most sense to confine it all to a single location.
  2. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Okay, the reason I started this thread was because I wanted to hear people's ideas for what is to be done about the current situation.

    For the last two and a half decades, the plan was for all US waste byproducts of nuclear reactors to be transported to Yucca Mountain once the facility was completed. Many activities involving the construction of new reactors, the handling of nuclear materials, and other government projects have all been bottlenecked by continuous delays in the construction of the facility.

    Now that it is to be closed down, what is to be done next?
  3. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    It isn't that hard: The stuff isn't going anywhere anytime soon so deal with keeping it at the places that created it. It isn't that hard and we aren't all going to die if this happens, and we can worry about where to put all of it later. If you believe in global warming, that is a bigger long term problem for storage of energy waste, and if you don't, the problem of dealing with the waste is much easier to manage than the political and economic consequences of foreign oil.

    In economics I learned that it is a fallacy to gauge future expenses and decisions based on the time and effort you have previously spent on them. For example, if you have a $200 dollar ticket to a basketball game but are feeling very sick, then the $200 you already spent should be ignored and you evaluate if you will get some benefit by going to the game, or if going will only make you feel worse.

    For the last two and a half decades, the plan was for all US waste byproducts of nuclear reactors to be transported to Yucca Mountain once the facility was completed.


    I'm sorry our leaders didn't know how to properly plan and realize this isn't a system where they just get to decide things and they happen, but I don't see anyone advocating we blow up Yucca Mountain. The mountain will still be 100 to 200 years from now. Nobody is going to die because it is being stored on site, it isn't a solution for the next 40,000 years, but two decades is a drop in the bucket of the time we are going to have this stuff on our hands. The western states you think nobody should live in are not your private dumping ground, and just because people don't live there now doesn't mean they won't in the future. You are freaking out over nothing, and there is no panic. Sit back, take a chill pill, and don't worry about it. We have more important things to worry about, and maybe down the line you will have to bribe the future residents of wherever we decide to dump the stuff with more money.

    Deal with the world as it is, now as how you wish it would be. You'll get a lot more done and maybe save yourself a heart attack.
  4. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Fair enough. Therefore there should be no reason why anyone would have problems having it sent to Yucca Mountain.

    What? Complaints? People fearful that having the crap in their state will pose some kind of risk?

    In that case, it only fuels the case for securing the crap at Yucca Mountain. If it poses a threat to people at Yucca Mountain, then it therefore poses an even more unacceptable risk to all those who live near where the waste resides. Any argument which justifies leaving the waste products where they are only supports the need to secure it at Yucca Mountain. If there are no risks to anyone living near the site, then they have no means to complain. If they have reason to complain, then there is a significantly greater number of people with the same concerns who DON'T want the crap near them.

    So in the meantime? You don't seem to acknowledge this is a problem which had been put on the back burner for decades. It SHOULD have be addressed already, but hasn't. The current situation is unacceptable, therefore any 'deal with it later' suggestion can't stand. This poses a threat to national security. If even a few kilos of the nuclear byproducts is stolen, a well-placed attack could render an area uninhabitable for decades, due to radioactivity. Yucca Mountain isn't solely to stash away the materials for the next 10,000 years, but to place them in a fortified facility where no man could reach it.

    Alright. Address global warming... that means going from fossil fuels to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy means obtaining a facility to secure the waste products after the fuel rods are spent. That means Yucca Mountain. Without that, global warming will only get worse. Without converting to nuclear energy, we'll be QUITE dependent on foreign oil for a long time to come.


    And in the meantime?

    The problem has nothing to do with politics. The problem is constant little legal squabbles which inevitably take a long time to deal with. Along with outrageous licensing and losses due to legal processes(all at the taxpayer's expense). $10 billion wasted! Who's to blame?

    It seems to me that if this is a country where a stubborn few can derail a project such as this, then the only solution is to tell those few to deal with it. If they don't want to live near the site, then no one's forcing them to move to Yucca Mountain. If people don't want to live in a state where nuclear waste exists, then they have the freedom to leave. Given as the repository posed no safety risk to the majority of people who protested it, then they had nothing to whine about.

    If it means trampling on the rights of those who gained from the legal squabbling, then there's no question that you must safeguard the rights of millions. There is no solution where the constitution or certain people's rights won't be trampled on. Therefore the only solution is to disregard the complaints of those few and not allow them to stand in the way. NO ONE's rights would be trampled upon if they simply didn't oppose this project. Any that have for invalid reasons are every bit a threat to the security of the US as if they had rammed jets into the World Trade Cente
  5. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5

    What is that when you keep trying the same thing and expecting a different result?

    You can huff and puff all you want, but it doesn't change the political realities of the world we live in. I humbly suggest your reaction to being told no is far too similar to that of a 5 year old. I know you think you know you are right, but telling other people to shove it hasn't worked so far for you, and despite your instance to the contrary shows no signs of working in the immediate future.

    I think you are over-blowing the threat it poses, and down the line think Yucca Mountain will probably be a good place for it. You seem to think I'm opposed to the actual storage of it in Yucca Mountain. I'm not. But it isn't my fault the government wasted a lot of money on it before sorting out the political situation. I don't like the idea of the Federal Government just mandating whatever the hell it wants, and it is your attitude that I'd say everyone in the mountain west despises.

    Yes I am advocating kicking this problem down to our grandchildren because of all the problems we have, this one isn't that big of a deal.

    And you missed my most important statement: (with the typo corrected)



  6. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    What same thing for the same result? Sweeping the same problem under the rug again and hoping that maybe the next generation will miraculously change into ideal human beings who will take responsibility because we did not?

    That is your statement written large.

    Excuse me, but the political realities of the world we live in? They're changing all the time. Ever hear of the French Revolution? The breakup of the Soviet Union, only 19 years ago? Do you think the European Union would have been conceptualized only sixty years ago?

    I'm not 'behaving like a five year old' when I say that the US political and legal systems are like a meat grinder. When you have 300 million people, each with their own agenda to benefit at the expense of everyone else... who's going to win? Certainly not all of them. Therefore if our great so-called republic ceases to function, the only solution is to do away with it and start over. Yes, that likely the US breaking up much like the Soviet Union; but I don't want this to become a political debate.

    The simple fact is that Yucca Mountain was only halted because people of Nevada simply said 'Not in my Backyard.'

    I don't believe that I am. I'll use your own political tactics against you on this one. Without a proper storage facility for the waste products, the next 'American nuclear age' will end in failure. Because plant sites will also have to get the proper licenses for storing the waste onsite, how many Americans would want that crap in their backyards? None.

    Therefore this will be a matter of securing an important source of energy for the American power grid. Most nuclear plants are stretching the limits of their 60-year life span and will have to be replaced. What will replace that 20% of the grid?

    Well who's fault is it, then? And before you say the government, remember that they were the ones pushing for the site at Yucca Mountain to be completed as quickly as possible. And a government is only a group of people, so saying it was the government who caused this is essentially saying we're all responsible.

    Now that I think of it, I suppose there's nothing wrong with putting the blame on people.

    But it's already done that. In case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of people who are being forced to deal with the waste products now being stored outside nuclear power plants. Was this done with the consent of all those people? When they decided to build a new power plant, was it done with the consent of everyone to also deal with the waste products? The way I see it is that millions living near these power plants have already had their rights and safety violated.

    I'm not looking to those who might one day have their rights violated, but to those who are already having this crap imposed on them without their consent. What about those people?
  7. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    From a geological and engineering standpoint, Yucca Mountain was probably a good location so the "z0mg the Feds are coming!" mentality isn't justified. That being said though, if people are just going to say "not in my backyard" then I guess there's not much we can do.
  8. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    So in other words, we're screwed. I'm no expert on politics or the US legal systems, so I would yield to other people's suggestions.

    Since no one is willing to take on the nuclear waste products, then who deals with it? If no one deals with it, then does that mean we've got no viable options before us?
  9. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    On site storage is a temporary solution, you just aren't interested in hearing about it.
  10. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    It's not a solution; it's a band-aid. And it's one which leaves those products dangerously exposed.

    This poses a threat to national security. I'm not talking about the effects of radiation leakage; I'm talking about unforeseen terrorism and thievery. You cannot deny that nuclear material is far safer locked up in a vault than out in the open. I wouldn't want something as hazardous of that just left outside for anyone to take. To breech security at Yucca Mountain would demand no less than an army.
  11. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Now hear this:

    http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/227425-wash.-ag-defends-nuclear-waste-repository

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704717004575269111331754570.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

    After over three months since Yucca Mountain has been removed from consideration for nuclear waste long-term storage, the problem with waste products are yet to be dealt with. Hundreds of millions are paid by utilities each year for a waste plan that has yet to be provided. If the only facility in the process of construction is not even up for consideration, then where is all this money going to? If a waste plan isn't on the table, then why the hell are people setting back all the progress in this department with absolutely no acceptable alternative whatsoever?

    This is an issue that needs to be resolved. This waste plan is so far overdue that by the time Yucca can start accepting waste products, if it ever does, plans for the second and third such facility will need to be on the drawing boards immediately. The reason that Yucca was the ONLY considered sight was simply because it took the highest priority... and it makes little sense to waste additional funding on future plans when the original facility had yet to be finished.
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