Primary States and Yucca Mountain

By January 18, 2008Energy

USA Today delivers an editorial rebuke to presidential candidates who pander to early-state primary voters, the latest example being the reflexive opposition shown during the last Democratic debate to the Yucca Mountain repository.

The waste storage plan is a reasonable one that has been studied for more than 30 years. There also is no alternative site. If the waste is not stored there, it must be kept, as now, at the plants where it is produced, which is hazardous, not least because of the terrorism potential. But the issue is radioactive in Nevada, especially among Democrats…[snip]

The candidates’ positions bespeak a lack of seriousness about reducing greenhouse gases and the nation’s dependence on oil and coal. The lack of a national repository gives nuclear power opponents a handy reason to oppose the industry’s expansion, which is an important piece of any rational energy policy.

Opposing Yucca won’t strangle nuclear power, which appears poised for rebirth. But secure, centralized, long-term waste storage is smart, and the science suggests the objections to Yucca can be overcome.

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