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NUKE WASTE: Outcry over Yucca Mountain reflects hypocrisy

Letter by Joseph C. Strolin, Carson City, Nev. on June 6, 2011 at 11:36 am | 2 Comments »
June 6, 2011 3:20 pm

Re: “Hastings slams DOE over Yucca Mountain closure” (newstribune.com, 6-2).

All the hand-wringing and crocodile tears being shed over the decision to terminate the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and others at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing June 1 just serve to highlight the hypocrisy that has characterized Congress’ involvement in the nuclear waste management issue over the years.

Where was the outcry when Washington’s own Tom Foley (then House majority leader) joined forces with the likes of Jim Wright (speaker of the House from Texas), Louisiana Sen. J. Bennet Johnston (Energy Committee chair) and all the others who, in 1987, used raw politics and political muscle to get potential repository sites in their states off the hook by sticking it to a then politically vulnerable Nevada?

Yucca Mountain never was a safe and suitable site, but that didn’t stop Congress from trying to force it on Nevada anyway. Now that the chickens have come home to roost, its time for Hastings and others to stop whining and support the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future in finding a safe, acceptable and workable solution to the nation’s nuclear waste problem.

Keeping the focus on Yucca just compounds the mistaskes of the past.

(Strolin is acting executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects.)

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