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Yucca Mountain

Yucca Mountain, the Nevada-based, scientifically flawed and politically unjust proposed high-level radioactive waste repository has now been canceled. However, pro-nuclear forces in Congress have not abandoned Yucca and funding is still allocated to the project.

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Wednesday
Jul122017

Dirty Water Appropriations Rider -- Yucca dump implications

As Environment America reports -- re: a dirty water rider on U.S. House legislation -- in a statement posted at CommonDreams:

The appropriations bill also includes other riders weakening protections for our rivers, lakes, and oceans.  In addition, it slashes $1 billion from energy efficiency programs and squanders $120 million on an old, failed plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

The Yucca dump proposal itself represents a huge threat to drinking water. If constructed and operated, the Yucca dump would massively release hazardous radioactivity, over time, into the drinking water supply below. That deadly contamination would then flow downstream, where a farming community -- Amargosa Valley, Nevada -- draws that water from wells for drinking and irrigation. Further downstream, in Death Valley, CA, the Timbisha Shoshone Band of Indians drink Yucca groundwater, where it surfaces in springs.

Yucca's guaranteed leakage over time is implicitly acknowledged, even by the U.S. EPA. EPA's Yucca regulations allow for an 11-mile buffer zone, downstream of the dump-site, allowing for a dilution zone for radioactive contamination of groundwater. That is, EPA would not even enforce regulations until an unprecedented 11 miles of "natural attenuation" takes place! If a dump is going to leak that badly, it should never be allowed to open in the first place!

An article by Beyond Nuclear that is along the same lines as Environment America's statement above is "After Flint, Don't Let Them NUKE the Great Lakes Next!" published at CounterPunch in January 2016. It was written in the context of international headlines about the lead poisoning of 9,000 children in Flint, Michigan via the city's drinking water supply, due to the Republican Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder's decision to save $100 per day by not treating the water to prevent severe corrosion of lead-lined piping. The article points out that the Canadian radioactive waste dump targeted at the Lake Huron shore could, ironically enough, poison Flint's drinking water with hazardous radioactivity as well. After the lead poisoning catastrophe, Flint chose to switch back to the much less corrosive Lake Huron drinking water supply (via the Detroit system), rather than the much more highly corrosive Flint River source (also switched to in the first place to save money, a decision made by the Gov. Rick Snyder administration).

Wednesday
Jul122017

Public comment closes, wait begins for decision on national monuments

As reported by the Nevada Independent, the Trump administration is threatening to undo the Basin and Range National Monument designation, instituted by President Obama. Never before has a U.S. president moved to undo a national monument designation established by a predecessor.

As the article reports:

President Barack Obama designated 704,000 acres of undeveloped mountains in rural Southern Nevada as the Basin and Range National Monument in July 2015. The creation of the monument hampered plans to open a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain by sealing off 300 miles of land through which one of the proposed railroad routes to the mountain could have run — plans that the Trump Administration is interested in revisiting.

Thursday
Jul062017

Yucca again

Thursday
Jul062017

Rosen officially announces Senate bid, says Reid encouraged her to run

Wednesday
Jul052017

Nevada adds more money to fight Yucca Mountain project