Originally created 02/13/01

Yucca Mountain national nuclear waste repository a key to energy policy



The recent column by State Rep. Sue Burmeister, R-Augusta, and the letters from Rebecca Solnit Jan. 17 and John Wallen Jan. 23 raise several issues regarding the choice of Yucca Mountain as the site of a national repository for nuclear waste.

Ms. Burmeister described very well the history of the area and the many studies proving it's an acceptable site for the repository. In contrast, Ms. Solnit and Mr. Wallin do not deal with facts. They play on our emotions and attack Ms. Burmeister.

The Environmental Impact Statement for Yucca Mountain is based on two decades of extensive site evaluations. In fact, Yucca Mountain is probably the most studied piece of land on Earth.

The EIS has taken into account all natural hazards to the site such as volcanic activity, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Also, studies of the water table in the area indicate that there is negligible potential for contact with the nuclear waste during the time that it presents a hazard to the environment.

During the coldest winter in many years, nuclear power plants are setting new records every day for energy production as the price of natural gas has skyrocketed. Californians are seeing this first hand with rolling blackouts while the rest of the nation struggles to pay their power bills. ...

M.R. Buckner, North Augusta

(Editor's note: The author is past-chair of the American Nuclear Society - Savannah River Section; currently member of the ANS-SRS Executive Committee.)