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ENVIRONMENT: Long Term Nuclear Waste Storage

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posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 08:07 AM
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One of the biggest environmental concerns that faces the United States is the storage of nuclear waste. Nuclear waste both high level (spent fuel rods) and low level (clothing and other contaminated objects) will require safe storage for an extended period of time. Yucca Mountain in Nevada represents the best place in the nation to do so. President Bush is fully committed to developing Yucca Mountain as the repository.
 


A safe, secure, and centralized location is the ideal method of safeguarding the people of the United States from the radioactive waste that is piling up. It has become necessary to find geologically stable location in a remote area to store these items. Storage of these items is a long term prospect. Given the half life of the contaminated objects a location for storage of these items must be carefully chosen to ensure containment.

In a letter to congress in 2002 President Bush outlines his reasons for supporting Yucca Mountain as a repository site.


A deep geologic repository, such as Yucca Mountain, is important for our national security and our energy future. Nuclear energy is the second largest source of U.S. electricity generation and must remain a major component of our national energy policy in the years to come. The cost of nuclear power compares favorably with the costs of electricity generation by other sources, and nuclear power has none of the emissions associated with coal and gas power plants.

This recommendation, if it becomes effective, will permit commencement of the next rigorous stage of scientific and technical review of the repository program through formal licensing proceedings before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Successful completion of this program also will redeem the clear Federal legal obligation safely to dispose of commercial spent nuclear fuel that the Congress passed in 1982.

This recommendation is the culmination of two decades of intense scientific scrutiny involving application of an array of scientific and technical disciplines necessary and appropriate for this challenging undertaking. It is an undertaking that was mandated twice by the Congress when it legislated the obligations that would be redeemed by successful pursuit of the repository program.

Allowing this recommendation to come into effect will enable the
beginning of the next phase of intense scrutiny of the project necessary to assure the public health, safety, and security in the area of Yucca Mountain, and also to enhance the safety and security of the Nation as a whole.


President Bush is the only major candidate to endorse Yucca Mountain to meet our future needs in regards to the nuclear waste issue. From a safety and security standpoint, Yucca Mountain is the best choice for our future.




posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 09:23 AM
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Carnt we just Send our Nuclear Waste into the Sun?

I know it would take many years and a lot of money but it would be the safest option i believe



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by Crash
Carnt we just Send our Nuclear Waste into the Sun?

I know it would take many years and a lot of money but it would be the safest option i believe


Hmmm, but can you chance the risk of a explosion spreading radiotive material over a large area? No rocket launch is foolproof, and the massive cost combined with the risk make it a hard cell.



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 10:13 AM
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Why not! Let's just destroy a sacred worship place for the Shoshone and Pauite...we've already taken enough from the original inhabitants of this land...I love how we can just ignore our constitution to serve corporate needs....

Here's my beef w/ this besides the above:


  1. Do we really have the money to do this? It's expensive now, and will only continue to become more expensive
  2. Exactly how many private homes and businesses is this sludge going to be driven through to reach its destination?
  3. No possible way of leaking? It's not going to contaminate the environment or water?
  4. Chances are that by the time this facility were to open we would already need a new place that would no doubt cost more and be more dangerous to our environment


Here's my idea...maybe it was someone elses first, but why not set up temporary storage facilities at the site of each nuclear reactor until such time that a safe and reliable means of tranport into space can be developed....We don't want it blowing up upon launch or not getting past the range of our satellites, but as long as it's in space it's of no danger....we have radioactive shielding on all of our space vessels.

It sounds like we'd be pitching a load of garbage out the back of our truck and into our own backyard...and to some degree that's true - but this backyard is an endless and sterile environment...the only problem I can see with this is perhaps some gases forming that could explode or asteroids maybe striking the sludge and re-directing its orbit....



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by Crash
Carnt we just Send our Nuclear Waste into the Sun?

I know it would take many years and a lot of money but it would be the safest option i believe


Hmmm, but can you chance the risk of a explosion spreading radiotive material over a large area? No rocket launch is foolproof, and the massive cost combined with the risk make it a hard cell.


Wouldnt it be possible to send them up in remote areas (Deserts ect/Ice cap areas) in small parts of Nuclear Waste, then if it explodes the Readioactive Waste will freeze into the ice which can then be extracted

Or send them in high alltitude Crafts (Such as militery Planes) Then fire them in many rockets into space (rockets that dont explode)

Then load em onto a probe or unmanned craft in space then send the craft or containers into a course with the sun




[edit on 26-8-2004 by Crash]



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by EnronOutrunHomerun
Here's my idea...maybe it was someone elses first, but why not set up temporary storage facilities at the site of each nuclear reactor until such time that a safe and reliable means of tranport into space can be developed


This is the problem all that high level waste is being stored at the reactor sites right now scattered accros the country. Ripe for a terrorist attack or an accident. The risk can be mitigated during the shipment process. a lot of time has been put into checking out the geology of the site and it is the best suited for the job.



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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Our local news did a little piece on this not too long ago...I don't know why, seeing as how we don't have a nuclear reactor here in T-town...but they got some local democrat on the mic, and his idea was pretty simple - let's just leave this crap exactly where it is, beef up security and protection levels and ride out the storm....

I don't know if I can entirely agree there - I see what you're saying FredT about increased terrorist threats becoming more and more possible as the stockpile increases....but let's just say that in transit, one of these trucks tips and some of this crap leaches out - who's to say that this little accident couldn't produce as much second-hand damage as one single attack?

I dunno - just a thought...



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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Although nuclear waste is harmful to the planet, since it take a long time for the isotopes to stop reacting, finding a way to store this has to be an issue. However the world needs energy, so the price of energy is currently more meaning full than the state of the planet.

So what should be done ? More research time should be spent looking at this problem, especially a solution to either destroying the waste or a safe storage facilty.

Overall the price of maintaining the planet should over rule that of constant large energy demands. However until a way forward is found in this field this just remains another problem that comes with technology.



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by racos

So what should be done ? More research time should be spent looking at this problem, especially a solution to either destroying the waste or a safe storage facilty.


Racos, there has already been almost 2 decades of research into finding a solution. Right now, Yucca mountain is the best alternative for us.



posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 02:44 PM
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Hmmm, Oh right I didnt know that. I will have a further look into the subject, and see if I can come back to you with something, maybe something that could be an alternative.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 04:40 AM
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original post: Fredt
Racos, there has already been almost 2 decades of research into finding a solution. Right now, Yucca mountain is the best alternative for us.


First there has been more than two decades of research, mainly politically motivated. Second, if by best alternative, you mean politically expedient then your right.


original post: Fredt
President Bush is the only major candidate to endorse Yucca Mountain to meet our future needs in regards to the nuclear waste issue. From a safety and security standpoint, Yucca Mountain is the best choice for our future.


Only if you ignore the 6 or 7 times that Kerry has actually voted to put waste at yucca. I understand your confusion in that currently he says he's against it, but we all know that either way that only lasts till Election Day. Also, I don’t believe that Kerry has ever voted against waste at Yucca.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by keholmes
First there has been more than two decades of research, mainly politically motivated. Second, if by best alternative, you mean politically expedient then your right.

Only if you ignore the 6 or 7 times that Kerry has actually voted to put waste at yucca. I understand your confusion in that currently he says he's against it, but we all know that either way that only lasts till Election Day. Also, I don’t believe that Kerry has ever voted against waste at Yucca.


Are you suggesting that Kerry will not shut Yucca DOWN as he has clearly stated in his campaign? Kerry has flip flopped so many times on the issues that you may be right.

That being said for the purposes of this debate forum, I can only work with what the candidates say they will do, not what I assume they will do.

But I ask you, If you feel that Yucca mountain is a political decison not a scientific one, where do you propose we store the waste?



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Are you suggesting that Kerry will not shut Yucca DOWN as he has clearly stated in his campaign? Kerry has flip flopped so many times on the issues that you may be right.

well at least it’s good to know that you believe Kerry was clear on something. However, if you read what I wrote Kerry has not flip flopped he has been a stanch supporter of Yucca Mountain.


Originally posted by FredT
That being said for the purposes of this debate forum, I can only work with what the candidates say they will do, not what I assume they will do.

Exactly my point, on this issue the Democrats are more politically astute than the republicans, even if they are not being truthful. Democrats in the state of Nevada have made fine political careers of appearing to fight the inevitable, while their party has continued to move forth on the issue.


Originally posted by FredT
But I ask you, If you feel that Yucca mountain is a political decison not a scientific one, where do you propose we store the waste?

My observation is, we are storing nuclear waste less than 90 miles from a large population center and the science up to this point is bunk. First, I didn’t say that Yucca is not the right place only that such an important decision for roughly 1 million Americans should be based in science, not political expedience. Second, are you implying that in order to stop a bad decision we need to have a viable option first? How about 90 miles from your door?



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by keholmes
well at least it’s good to know that you believe Kerry was clear on something. However, if you read what I wrote Kerry has not flip flopped he has been a stanch supporter of Yucca Mountain.

No Kerry has flip flopped on the issue. He has gone on the record as labling Yucca as a Non Starter. From his own Web Site:




Kerry Has Stood With Nevada On Yucca Mountain
Kerry voted TWICE with Reid and Bryan to remove the offending provision

Kerry voted against an amendment which would allow the DOE to designate sites, possibly in Washington and Nevada, as nuclear waste sites. Kerry voted against the Johnston motion to table Adams-Reid amendment which adds texts of remaining committee amendments except the amendment incorporating the nuclear waste policy act amendments (s 1668) which would allow designation of a single site for full characterization.[Vote #367, 11/4/1987, Motion to table HR 2700 Passed 55-30)

Kerry voted to recommit the Energy bill back to committee in order to remove the provisions promoting Nevada site selection for nuclear waste storage. He voted for the Motion to recommit bill to appropriations committee with instructions to report back with language to require further analysis of the 3 candidate nuclear waste storage sites. this would revise the current bill provisions promoting Nevada site selection. [Vote #382, 11/18/1987, Motion to recommit HR 2700 Failed 34-61, Kerry-Y]

Las Vegas Sun: Kerry “stood with us”
“Kerry has been one of the few consistent friends Nevada has had in the U.S. Senate regarding Yucca Mountain, the most important issue facing this state. Kerry understands our concerns, and has stood with us when Nevada has needed him, something that can't be said for Bush.” [Las Vegas Sun, 8/1/2004]

Gov. Bob Miller: “Kerry has voted with us”
“Whether it's some of the time or all of the time, Kerry has voted with us," said former Gov. Bob Miller, a warrior in the anti-Yucca Mountain trenches long before Ensign and Porter. " [German, Review-Journal, 8/1/2004]

Senator Harry Reid: “No one better”
“I wish I’d said it stronger: If he’s president, there will be no Yucca Mountain. No one has been better for us on Yucca than John Kerry.” [Review-Journal, 7/28/2004]

Senator Richard Bryan: Kerry there when it counted
“On the critical votes where it really counted, John Kerry would be supportive.” [Review-Journal, 7/29/2004]



My observation is, we are storing nuclear waste less than 90 miles from a large population center and the science up to this point is bunk. First, I didn’t say that Yucca is not the right place only that such an important decision for roughly 1 million Americans should be based in science, not political expedience. Second, are you implying that in order to stop a bad decision we need to have a viable option first? How about 90 miles from your door?


Already there:
1) lawrence Livemore Nuclear Labs about 45 miles to the east
2) Stanford Linear Acellerator 3 miles to the west
3) Closed now, but Mare Island in Vallejo 60 miles to the west was a naval base that helb nukes.

Im not saying its the same as entering high level waste, but the bottom line is that it is geologicaly stabe area is really despite in proximity to Las Vegas, the middle of nowere, Is close to Nellis AFB for security etc.
The NIMBY syndroms is going to have to end at somepoint. Noone has a better solution for the storage of the waste either.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
No Kerry has flip flopped on the issue. He has gone on the record as labling Yucca as a
Non Starter. From his own Web Site:

I will concede that he has some votes against it that I was not aware of, but do you think that using his spin site for proof is really a good idea. As Nevada is one of the states that has been deemed a battleground state and this is an unbelievably good hot button issue. I would be shocked to see them document his votes for the “screw-nevada” bill and others. As for Nevada pols saying he is a friend, the pols here will not say or do anything to the only hope they have. You make my point for me…..on this issue the democrats are more politically astute, although less honest.

Originally posted by FredT
Already there:
1) lawrence Livemore Nuclear Labs about 45 miles to the east
2) Stanford Linear Acellerator 3 miles to the west
3) Closed now, but Mare Island in Vallejo 60 miles to the west was a naval base that helb nukes.
Im not saying its the same as entering high level waste, but the bottom line is that it is geologicaly stabe area is really despite in proximity to Las Vegas, the middle of nowere, Is close to Nellis AFB for security etc.
The NIMBY syndroms is going to have to end at somepoint. Noone has a better solution for the storage of the waste either.

good thing your not saying it is because it is apples, and oranges.



The region near Yucca Mountain is
tectonically active, as there are several
recently active volcanic cones within
few miles of the site.
www.cyberwest.com...




“PASADENA--Recent geodetic measurements using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites show that the Yucca Mountain area in southern Nevada is straining roughly 10 to 100 times faster than expected on the basis of the geologic history of the area. And for the moment at least, geologists are at a loss to explain the anomaly.”
“Yucca Mountain was already known to have both seismic and volcanic activity, Wernicke says. An example of the former is the 5.4-magnitude "Little Skull Mountain" earthquake that occurred in 1992.” Just for depth skull mountain is a stones throw from Yucca lake repository.
209.157.64.200..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">aa209.157.64.200...




Although Yucca Mountain was partly chosen because of a perception that Nevada lacked the political clout to reject it.
209.157.64.200...
this post details that the scientist were put in charge and then when the answers didn’t support the desired political policy…..the scientists were just ignored.

The only reason you think that yucca mountain is geographically stable proves my point again about this being politically motivated. You assume it is geographically stable because the politicians have told you it is. Unfortunately there are current geographic conditions that the geologists have no answers for, doesn’t quite sound geographically stable to me, does it to you? Answer me this would it only hurt Nevada and Las Vegas for potentially tons of high level nuclear waste to escape containment?


[edit on 29-8-2004 by keholmes]



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 06:56 PM
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The point of stability from a geology standpoint is well taken however, depending on your viewpoint, it is easy to find or hire a geologist that will support either claim. No doubt you can find just as many that says its okay. However, forgetting for a minute that Yucca Mountain has been vilifed as a Republican Cause (2 Democrats proposed its creation in 1987) no one again has a better idea. This idea has been well researched and Yucca has been proven to be the safest spot for this. I don't doubt that there may be geologic activity in the region, but please show me a spot on the planet that does not have some in one form or another.

On a non debate note, please don't quote me in the articles you posted it makes it look like I posted them and not you



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
The point of stability from a geology standpoint is well taken however, depending on your viewpoint, it is easy to find or hire a geologist that will support either claim.

The only problem I have with the previous is that a lot of those easy to hire geologists were hired by the government. As I stated previously when they didn’t reach the desired political solution then DOE/NNSA just ignored them and continued on….business as usual; contrary to what congress had instructed them to do, as indicated in the quotes of the last post. Well, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree as I’m sure that you will contend that the scientists are just being overly cautious as engineers and scientists are likely to do. You know those courageous engineers and scientists that normally commit career suicide at the drop of a hat.

Originally posted by FredT
On a non debate note, please don't quote me in the articles you posted it makes it look like I posted them and not you

fixed
here is some more from the government hired scientists….Yucca Mountain Project scientists counted thirty-two faults, or earthquake fracture zones, in the Yucca Mountain area, not including the Sundance Fault.
www.yuccamountain.org...
There is also one fault directly under the proposed project. Not near, not by, but directly under. (ghost dance fault)



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by keholmes
Well, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree as I’m sure that you will contend that the scientists are just being overly cautious as engineers and scientists are likely to do. here is some more from the government hired scientists….Yucca Mountain Project scientists counted thirty-two faults, or earthquake fracture zones, in the Yucca Mountain area, not including the Sundance Fault.


No worries, debate is the spice of life. As you pointed out its is ealso easy to promote something that is not in you back yard. Is Yucca mountain the perfect plan. No, but it is the best we have with least amount of risk.



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