(continued from previous post)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
Every day, there is more waste, more radioactive pollution, such as tritium, which is killing our citizens, and more of the "ignoble seven" whose daughter products include noble gases, which are freely released by nuclear power plants in copious quantities.
The "ignoble seven" are: Technetium-99, Tin-126, Selenium-79, Zirconium-93, Cesium-135, Palladium-107, and Iodine-129.
All have half-lives > 200,000 years.
Someone seems to have missed the elephant in the room.
All nuclear power plants need to be closed NOW.
They are old, corroded, embrittled, dilapidated and their employees have repeatedly abdicated their responsibilities - from proper training, to doing their fire rounds, to numerous problems with top management, to not giving a damn about possible irreversible catastrophe only ONE accident away, and so on.
Every day the plants run, they increase the total risk, the total cost, the immediate risk, and the immediate cost -- costs in terms of health effects around the plants, and delayed costs from accidents or just from fuel storage.
Even if we stop making nuclear waste, every movement of the fuel entails enormous risk. And there will be tens of thousands of shipments from all around the country.
But what, when, how and where?
Scientists don't know.
Each trip is a terrorist's best friend and a sane person's worst nightmare.
When the music stopped, radioactive waste appears to be where it will stay for the foreseeable future.
Let us go back in history a couple of years in an attempt to understand this nuclear waste shell game.
19 May 2009
Billions in tax dollars found buried in Nevada Cave
If you think anyone in Washington gives a damn about your money, listen to how they have wasted it, and will continue to waste it, because of "politics."
Taxpayers have spent more than $10 billion dollars digging a hole in a mountain in Nevada where the nation's nuclear waste was supposed to go.
The Yucca Mountain project has been underway for nearly three decades.
In 1987, Congress even passed a law explicitly directing waste from the nation's nuclear power plants would start arriving in Yucca Mountain in by the late 1990's.
So far, not one single radioactive isotope has made its way to Yucca, and probably never will.
President Obama, making good on a promise to Senate Majority Leader (and not-in-my-backyard-of-Nevada) Harry Reid, has effectively killed any future for the Yucca Mountain facility. More than $10 billion dollars of scientific study, engineering and congressional spending has just been thrown into a hole in the ground.
But Yucca Mountain is not officially dead, and here is where the real arrogance of wasting your money comes in.
Even the President cannot kill the project because, remember, the project is law.
According to the federal government, the government is required to build Yucca Mountain and accept the waste.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) would like to change that law, but without an option for where all this waste will go, it may be hard to get the votes.
So what to do?
Keep Yucca Mountain on life-support while you spend money looking for another alternative. President Obama plans to do just that by spending $197 million dollars in the 2010 budget, essentially to pay people to do nothing.
Out at Yucca Mountain, there will be a staff getting paid, proceeding with licensing and other odds and ends, knowing all along that the project has no future.
It's pure politics that has already cost you and me $10 billion dollars and now $197 million more.
Let's hope they don't carve out more of Yucca Mountain to stuff with dollar bills.
To be continued ...
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Liberty & Equality or Revolution