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Strangled in the crib

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The Obama administration has given Savannah River Site some very good news and some potentially very bad news.

The good news is SRS will get $1.62 billion in stimulus money to accelerate environmental cleanup at the former nuclear bomb-building plant. The money is expected to create some 3,000 jobs into at least 2011.

The bad news is that the administration is reversing the nation's course on storing nuclear waste at the long-planned national repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

And that means the waste will be stored at SRS indefinitely.

"I think it's horrible," says Mal McKibben, emeritus executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness in Aiken. "Yucca Mountain was a smart thing."

The science hasn't changed in a year. Nor has any credible report emerged to detail how plans and facilities at Yucca Mountain have fallen short in any way.

The only thing that has ensued since last year to explain this radical change in policy is an election.

Politics is about to trump science, logic and national security.

The Obama administration isn't opting for another policy, either. It isn't replacing Yucca Mountain with a better alternative.

It's replacing Yucca Mountain with a blue ribbon committee that will study what has already been studied by archaeologists, climatologists and geologists for years and years.

"There is no better answer" than Yucca Mountain, says McKibben, a nuclear expert. "It's clearly the best place to put it. The location we have is the best one in the country, for sure."

Asians and Europeans are jealous of Yucca Mountain, McKibben says.

No need to be now. To the delight of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Obama administration has strangled Yucca Mountain in its crib.

"It's dead," Coroner Reid happily declares.

Even Sen. John McCain, a proponent of clean nuclear energy and of Yucca Mountain, seems to think it's time to pull the plug on the site.

"Nuclear power is a critical component in securing our nation's energy future and reducing greenhouse gas emission," McCain said in a statement, "and I believe that moving forward on Yucca Mountain is a key step in growing a strong nuclear industry. However, if opponents of Yucca Mountain are going to hold this project hostage, then we shouldn't be charging the American taxpayer and utilities for this facility."

Not everyone is throwing dirt on the coffin. South Carolina state Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, introduced a resolution that urges Congress to stay the course and open Yucca Mountain. It was quickly co-sponsored by 22 other senators.

"Opening Yucca Mountain will not only fulfill the obligation that Washington made to Savannah River decades ago, but it will also sustain the existence of thousands of good jobs and the creation of many more," Ryberg said.

"Yucca Mountain is vital to the continued prosperity of Aiken County and the surrounding communities, and we call upon the federal government to keep its promise."

Ironically, Ryberg had also pushed a measure that critics said would've led to more nuclear waste coming to SRS from out of state for reprocessing. With Yucca Mountain apparently on the way out, some fear that such waste would remain at SRS.

Savannah River Site was a vital part of this country's national security for decades. With a huge chunk of land, usable facilities and lots of brainpower still there, the facility has potential for future missions, perhaps both civil and commercial.

But never did we sign up to have SRS, located in the heavily populated Southeast, used as a nuclear waste dump.

That's what we appear to be getting at this point.

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GGpap
491
Points
GGpap 04/05/09 - 01:48 am
0
0
By golly, maybe we can throw

By golly, maybe we can throw a few more tea bags at Sen. Reid. I'm not a fan of Sen. Ryberg but his efforts here are appreciated; unfortunately, his side of the aisle is in the minority and I won't be holding my breathe hoping for this resolution to make any significant change in the death of the Yucca Mountain project. GGpap

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 04/05/09 - 07:28 am
0
0
We all should have thought

We all should have thought about in 1950, before our government destroyed Ellenton, Dunbarton and Meyers Mill in order to build SRS.

Riverman1
79615
Points
Riverman1 04/05/09 - 07:49 am
0
0
If we hadn't built SRS, I

If we hadn't built SRS, I doubt any of us would be here today, thanks to the Soviet Union. The demise of Yucca Mtn. is horrendous to the future of the CSRA. Nuclear wastes were never meant to be stored by a river permanently. Nuclear waste is increasing dramatically at commercial sites all over the country and there are few federal installations where it can be sent. Want to bet SRS won't be the main parking lot?

shamrock
376
Points
shamrock 04/05/09 - 07:55 am
0
0
It has to be stored someplace

It has to be stored someplace and from the Washington perspective SRS is as good a place as any. A majority voted him into office so what the locals think or want is not relevant. Suck it up and move on!! Remember this in four years.

SCEagle Eye
875
Points
SCEagle Eye 04/05/09 - 09:29 am
0
0
SRS is on track to be the

SRS is on track to be the nation's spent fuel dump if Ryberg and other big-government crowd get their way. DOE has openly been urging contractors at SRS to pursue "energy parks", which means spent fuel dump/reprocessing. If you love the 35 million gallons of existing high-level waste at SRS, then you'll love the nation's spent fuel dumped at the site and turned into a liquid mess via reprocessing. Some will profit though and that seems to be the driver in SRS decisions. But hold on to your hat because the public and South Carolina community will fight attempts by narrow special interests to make us a national radiation dump.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 04/05/09 - 10:40 am
0
0
A classic case of NIMBY from

A classic case of NIMBY from the namby pambies at the Chronicle.

stalemate2
5
Points
stalemate2 04/05/09 - 12:03 pm
0
0
Every state had the

Every state had the "opportunity" to host a geological repository for nuclear waste in the late 1980's and early 1990's when an incentives program was in effect. No state was willing to participate and when the Mescalero Apache tribe exhibited an interest the incentives program was shut down. Lamar Alexander was unwilling to host even a temprary site when he was governor of Tennessee. Furthermore, the Yucca Mountain site has not been licensed yet. Congress only voted to allow the Department of Energy to apply for a license. There are scientific concerns about water infiltration as well as seismicity and volcanism at the Yucca Mountain site. Susanne E. Vandenbosch

SCEagle Eye
875
Points
SCEagle Eye 04/05/09 - 12:24 pm
0
0
Savannah River Site is

Savannah River Site is already where the federal government is dumping deadly plutonium from aroudn the nation, with no exit strategy form South Carolina. So, let me get this straight, Gov. Sanford loves plutonium to be dumped on us by big government but doesn't want money dumped on the state?! Ya gotta love the sick beauty of such a "philosophy"....

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 04/05/09 - 12:49 pm
0
0
Good loyal dims want SC to

Good loyal dims want SC to take bribe money to cause more debt. Then they can have debt on top of debt. What happens when that bribe money runs out? How does raising taxes, less services and more government sound to you? Some just aren't able to look past right now and see what the future holds. Does having a dumping ground next to a main river really sound like a good idea?

Brittanicus
0
Points
Brittanicus 04/05/09 - 02:40 pm
0
0
The next anti-sovereignty
Unpublished

The next anti-sovereignty plan that has been concocted is to direct the 2010 census from the White House. Not only are they going to count Citizens and residents but--MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS. We have entrusted our politicians to protect the accuracy and integrity including the voter registration. Yet the corrupt tax-subsidized ACORN organization will be involved in the Census numeration. The census is used to numerate seats in the House chamber, as a proportion of their population, based on the headcount. More people equals more seats in different states. More illegal immigrants counted equals more power for the Democrats Under this mis-managed national census billions of dollars will go to illegal immigrant, tax-choked states that have violated Federal law by giving refuge to criminals.

Only the foment voices of--THE PEOPLE--can stop these unconscionable acts? Call your own Senator or Representative 202-224-3121; The President: 202-456-1414: The truth about the pandemic of illegal immigration, can be found at NUMBERSUSA. JUDICIAL WATCH, CAPSWEB, AMERICAN PATROL.

Brittanicus
0
Points
Brittanicus 04/05/09 - 02:41 pm
0
0
The lies generated about
Unpublished

The lies generated about E-Verify subversives has corrupted the institution of our Senate. That hundreds of billions of dollars rolling into corporate bank accounts from the free movement of cheap labor is devastating to the jobless American worker. The elitists behind business welfare donate large grants to seditious groups such as the ACLU, The Cato Institute and a range of anti-sovereignty groups, whose major agenda is a North American Union. E-Verify is an extremely successful tool, to contest millions of illegal aliens pouring through our borders. It exposes illegal aliens after already being hired, and removes them from the workforce. Thousands of scavenger businesses are against it as [filtered word]PERMANENT--tool. That if caught hiring illegal cheap labor, they face hard consequences in Federal court. American workers must realize the majority of politicians are not playing on their side? The lawmakers enjoy the perks offered to them in campaign contribution, vacations and other free money passed to them. Not all have been corrupted like Sen. Sessions a Republican from Alabama, who has tirelessly fought against liberal-oriented legislators like Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and

jack
10
Points
jack 04/05/09 - 05:29 pm
0
0
Another BimbObama stupid move

Another BimbObama stupid move that will hurt us. He must think that the waste just evaporates into thin air.

used2Bjonny
1
Points
used2Bjonny 04/05/09 - 07:27 pm
0
0
You know, France stores all

You know, France stores all the nuclear waste from its decades-long nuke energy program in a facility the size of my house. In the U.S., we classify as "waste," material that has a lower count than the dirt we bury it in...look it up. It's yet ANOTHER legacy from the glorious Carter years, in which liberal "ideology trumped science," as is so often the case, and Carter (with his extensive background in nuclear science) declared every shovelful of raw material that ever went into a separator to be "nuclear waste." Look it up for yourselves, liberals, if your much-prized and -defended public schools have given you sufficient ability to do some basic research...

justus4
99
Points
justus4 04/05/09 - 07:55 pm
0
0
Ha! Ha! If U thought Az was
Unpublished

Ha! Ha! If U thought Az was going to take that junk, Wow! What a bunch of fools! That waste is a SC problem. It's developed, used, and must be stored there. Boy, what idiots thought another state will bury other state's junk. Wishful thinking must be catching on in the South.

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 04/05/09 - 09:31 pm
0
0
Actually, that's Nevada,

Actually, that's Nevada, justus4. And all of the lies about ACORN that has been spouted by the racist right wing has done nothing but destroy the lives of innocent people who work for them. The right wing lies caused these acts of terrorism against ACORN. Those who lied about ACORN engaging in vote fraud and other illegal activities should be prosecuted for being an accessory to terrorism and attempted terrorism.

KSL
122017
Points
KSL 04/05/09 - 09:58 pm
0
0
Justus4, you don't know what

Justus4, you don't know what you are talking about. But that is not unusual.

KSL
122017
Points
KSL 04/05/09 - 10:03 pm
0
0
BMused
0
Points
BMused 04/06/09 - 09:54 am
0
0
There certainly are some

There certainly are some unconventional tangents in this discussion. Vox populi.

The trouble began when Nevada moved its caucus early in the 2008 primary cycle. While the Democratic candidates (all 8 of them) were eager to have fundraisers in (then prospering) Las Vegas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it plain that no money and no support would come to any candidate who did not "take the pledge" to stop the Yucca project. Hilary went for it and so did Obama. Neither of them mentioned this in any of the other States. Now Obama has to deal with the consequences.

Little Lamb
43941
Points
Little Lamb 04/06/09 - 10:49 pm
0
0
It is time to think about

It is time to think about re-processing that "spent" fuel to extract the plutonium and U-238.

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