Dump on Nevada!
by Steve Waldrop
From an article written by Geoff Schumacher of the Las Vegas
May 3, 2002
of Nevada unite! Your state needs you. The fight against Yucca Mountain must not
only be fought by state politicians and environmental groups, but by every citizen
that has concerns over the federal government's plan to bury 77,000 tons of high-level
nuclear waste 90 miles from Las Vegas.
The case against Yucca Mountain is strong. In spite of the enormous
coverage that Yucca Mountain has received in the Nevada news media for
at least the last 15 years, the national media has just now begun to
give the story prominent play.
Citizens are becoming aware of the government's plan to make tens of thousands
of shipments of deadly radioactive waste through at least 43 states to Nevada.
What would happen if an accident or terrorist attack involving the transportation
of the radioactive waste occurred in your community?
In February of
this year, U.S. Secretary of Energy recommended the Yucca Mountain site to President
Bush citing "sound science" and "compelling national interests."
In making his recommendation Abrahams said that, "irrespective of any other
considerations, I could not and would not recommend the Yucca Mountain site without
having first determined that a repository at Yucca Mountain will bring together
the location, natural barriers, and design elements necessary to protect the health
and safety of the public."
But Yucca Mountain is not an ideal location to store nuclear waste.
The mountain, located north of Las Vegas is highly susceptible to earthquakes
and volcanic eruptions. The mountain is porous, raising the fears that
radiation may leak into the groundwater. There is a great deal of concern
that the Department of Energy is unprepared to safely store the high-level
waste for 10,000 years.
former president Bill Clinton appears to be joining the campaign to stop Yucca
Mountain. Speaking to an audience of approximately 6,000 during a lecture series
at UNLV on Monday, Mr. Clinton said that if he were still president he would not
approve Yucca Mountain as the nation's nuclear waste repository until unanswered
scientific questions were solved.
just think it's a mistake. I don't think it can be justified on the merits,"
said the former president.
Governor Kenny Guinn has vetoed President
Bush's plan. In his "notice of disapproval", or veto message, the governor
had this to say: "The scientific uncertainties of the Yucca Mountain project
are so numerous as to defy enumeration. Attempting to count them all, the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission recently identified 293 unresolved technical issues in nine
critical areas.Though the DOE dismissed these as trivial, perfunctory or problems
that will be solved 'as we go' over the next 300 years, their mere specification
belies this claim."
April 25, Governor Guinn testified before the House Transportation Committee
on Yucca Mountain. However, the U.S. Senate is not scheduled to vote
on the issue until later this year. Many senators are in favor of dumping
the nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and will vote to override Governor
Guinn's veto. By some estimates opponents would need at least 15 more
votes in the senate to avoid a veto override.
What can Nevada do to help secure these needed votes? The state is spending
hundreds of thousands of dollars to run television commercials in targeted states
hoping to change the minds of those senators representing those states to vote
with Nevada. This effort seems to be having some effect. Applying political pressure
through TV ads, phone calls, letters, e-mails and faxes, remains an effective
method to force political change.
citizen in Nevada needs to show their support against Yucca Mountain. Contact
your U.S. senators and congressmen. Put the pressure on them to take a stand against
making Nevada a dumping ground.
Contribute financially and volunteer
your time to anti-nuclear organizations. Remember, the nuclear industry has its
allies and more money! Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Don't allow
Nevada to become a graveyard for nuclear waste!
information on Governor Guinn's "How to Protect Nevada Fund"