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  • 01-May-10 Some Serious Questions about Nuclear Energy
  • SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #14-2010
    (in TWTW May 1, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Some Serious Questions about Nuclear Energy

    May 1, 2010

    The White House has announced the termination of the Yucca Mountain project to provide a long-term and safe 'engineered disposal site' for spent nuclear reactor fuel (what many enviros refer to as a 'nuclear waste dump'). Presumably, the WH action will help Senator Harry Reid (Dem-Nevada) as he seeks re-election in November 2010 (or am I just being cynical?).

    A 1983 law calls for such disposal by the US government, so here are some questions for Secretary of Energy Dr Steven Chu:

    1. Is Yucca now irrevocably dead? Y/N

    2. If YES, do you see another 20-yr search shaping up to qualify another site? Y/N

    3. If NO, does DOE just ignore the law; can nuclear utilities stop paying fees to DOE, and claim a refund (approaching $20 billion)?

    4. Do you have any clue what this WH plans to do? 5. Do you see this EPA ever approving any kind of disposal of spent fuel (aside from the status quo of on-site storage) - in view of exaggerated fears of minute amounts of radioactivity?

    6. Is this lack of a permanent disposal site likely to result in lawsuits that can stop nuclear energy --- or seriously delay it or drive up costs prohibitively?

    7. In other words: Does cancelation of Yucca spell the end for a nuclear future for the US?



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