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« Early 2018 House Vote Expected on Yucca Mountain Bill | Main | Yucca dump threatens fragile ecosystems, endangered species, and the Timbisha Band of Western Shoshone Indians »
Wednesday
Jan032018

NIMBY Democrats must be urged to change their position on Yucca dump!

In a question and answer session with KPBS reporters Brooke Ruth and Maureen Cavanaugh, U.S. Representative Scott Peters (Democrat-San Diego) said the following:

Q: The issue of nuclear waste being stored at San Onofre has actually brought local Democrats and Republicans together to support opening a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. That is in the process of moving through Congress. Do you expect that bill to make it to the president's desk in 2018?

A: I hope so. I should just say that it’s common for the five of us in our delegation to work together. We really do get along and we often endorse against each other in our elections. Darrell Issa has always endorsed another candidate against me but if the voters send us back we will work together on something like H-1B visas or the border or on this particular issue. This was Mr. Issa’s bill, I supported it and I think it makes a lot of sense to move spent nuclear waste away from the ocean. It seems like it’s got pretty good support except in Nevada and I think that we’ll see but I think that it’s got bipartisan support and there’s a good shot we should be able to get it past, at least in the House and we hope in the Senate and then onto the president.

U.S. Rep. Peters is voicing a Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) position that is unacceptable. Yucca Mountain, Nevada is, after all, environmentally unjust, scientifically unsuitable, not consent-based, and against the supreme law of the land.

The proposed Yucca dump is a violation of environmental justice (EJ) because low income and people of color communities (such as the Western Shoshone Indian Nation) have already suffered badly from nuclear weapons testing in Nevada.

The proposed Yucca dump is scientifically unsuitable, because it is an active earthquake and volcanic zone. Also, the perfect storm of underground water saturation, rock chemistry, and the thermal heat of the buried waste would guarantee waste burial corrosion and breach over time, resulting in massive releases of radioactivity to groundwater. Downstream are the agricultural community of Amargosa Valley, Nevada, which draws its drinking water and irrigation water from Yucca's groundwater. Also downstream is the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refugre. Also downstream is the Timbisha Shoshone Indian Band, which draws its water from springs where Yucca's groundwater ultimately surfaces.

The proposed Yucca dump is not consent-based. Both the State of Nevada, and the Western Shoshone Indian Nation, have opposed the dump from the start, decades back, since it was first proposed, and shoved down their throat, against their will, through such acts as the "Screw Nevada bill" of 1987.

The proposed Yucca dump violates the "peace and friendship" Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863. Such treaties are the supreme law of the land, equal in stature to the U.S. Constitution itself.

Beyond Nuclear advocates for Hardened On-Site Storage, as close to the point of generation as possible. In the case of the permanently closed San Onofre nuclear power plant in s. CA, Beyond Nuclear has advocated -- as in a letter to the editor of the L.A. Times -- for the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, immediately adjacent to the atomic reactors, to be considered as an interim, safer alternative for irradiated nuclear fuel storage, instead of the Pacific Ocean beach.