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Yucca Mountain plan the best option available

June 11, 2012
The Mining Journal

President Barack Obama admits nuclear power needs to be part of the nation's energy mix. Yet his administration seems to be determined to throw up a new roadblock to nuclear power.

Certain types of waste generated by nuclear power plants and other equipment using atomic energy, including some in health care, cannot be destroyed. It remains radioactive for generations, sometimes centuries. It must be stored safely and securely.

No national nuclear waste repository exists. Waste is stored at dozens of sites throughout the country, in far less than ideal circumstances.

Several years ago, federal officials thought they had devised a solution to the problem. A national nuclear waste repository could be established under Yucca Mountain, Nev., they determined.

Implementation of the plan has been blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Now, it appears the Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to abandon the proposal permanently.

There is no reason to believe "green" energy such as that advocated by Obama, including solar and wind power, can replace fuel sources such as coal and nuclear for decades. Yet Obama continues down a path that will, if not checked, wreck both industries.

Congress should not allow that. Lawmakers, as part of a rational policy including both coal and nuclear energy, should pursue the Yucca Mountain plan.



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